Gallery: NASA Image Shows a Year’s Worth of Record-Breaking Wildfires


According to the National Interagency Fire Center (NIFC) and NASA, an incredible 9.1 million acres burned in the United States this year. That makes 2012 the third most blazing year since 1960. However, despite the large amount of land set aflame, the average number of fires was low, coming in at 55,505. The map above shows the fires that burned from January 1 through October 31. Most of the large wildfires centered in the West, where lightning and humans sparked blazes that firefighters fought to contain. Most of the lower intensity fires depicted in red were prescribed burns meant for ecosystem management.

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