Fri December 7, 2012

All Of The 2012 Wildfires In One Stunning Picture

As of November 30th, more than 9.1 million acres have burned in the U.S. That's the third highest total ever recorded.

This was an extraordinary year for wildfires across Colorado, and as these visualizations show, for much of the U.S. as well.

While millions of acres burned this year, according to the National Interagency Fire Center, the number of fires recorded was the smallest at 55,505. In terms of size however, the 2012 fires were some of the largest on record.

A nationwide look at all of the fires (wild, prescribed & ag) from 2012. Color denotes intensity, with yellow being the most instense
Credit NASA images provided by the Science Visualization Studio / NASA Earth Observatory

Quick facts on Colorado's major wildfires:

  • The High Park Fire in northern Colorado scorched 87,284 acres, destroyed 259 homes and killed one person.
  • The Waldo Canyon Fire in southern Colorado was the most destructive fire in the state's history. It burned 18,247 acres, destroyed 347 homes, and killed two people.  
  • The Hewlett Fire, 20 miles northwest of Fort Collins, blackened 7,685 acres.