Northern Florida's County Line Fire
Florida's County Line fire is now two-thirds under control, and smoke was seen on a visible image from the GOES-13 satellite. NOAA's Geostationary Operational Environmental satellite, GOES-13 captured a visible image of the smoke coming from northern Florida's County Line Fire, on April 16, 2012 at 1731 UTC (1:31 p.m. EDT).
NOAA operates the GOES-13 satellite, and the image was created at NASA's GOES Project at the NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, Md. In the GOES-13 satellite imagery, the smoke does not appear to be blowing around much (blue arrow pointing to light brown smoke) because winds are light (about 8 mph from the southeast). Because the winds are blowing from the southeast, the National Weather Service reported on April 16, "areas of smoke from the county line wildfire in northern Columbia County will generally remain northwest of the fire." Smoke is expected to move into southern Georgia.
The fire is located in the Pinhook Swamp, which extends into both Baker and Columbia counties of northern Florida. Pinhook Swamp consists of pine flatwoods and swamps and are located between the Osceola National Forest and the Okefenokee National Wildlife Refuge.
The Florida Division of Forestry (FDF) reports that the fire, which started by a lightning strike on April 5, has now consumed 34,936 acres (as of April 16). The Division of Forestry noted that the fire is now 65 percent contained. The FDF reported today, April 16, "firefighters plan to strategically burn approximately 2,000 acres to continue the removal of fuels within the containment lines. Most of these fuels are in the southwest section of the fire. This will not increase the acreage of the County Line Fire."
Image: NASA/NOAA GOES Project Text: NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, Rob Gutro