Marsh Fire Near New Orleans

Serendipity: in conducting our regular daily monitoring of satellite imagery for oil pollution in the Gulf of Mexico, we noticed a huge plume of smoke coming from the east side of the city of New Orleans on this NASA/MODIS satellite image taken early Saturday afternoon:

Detail from NASA/MODIS satellite image taken August 27, 2011 showing 200-mile-long smoke plume originating on the east side of New Orleans.

We tweeted about this at 7:14pm eastern, and in the wee hours this morning @dmyersloyola replied that we’d identified a large wildfire burning in a marsh on the edge of town.  (Are you following us on Twitter yet?)  Here’s a video report on the fire. It’s extremely smokey, a serious air-quality problem and public health concern for nearby residents.  It was possibly triggered by lightning.

2 replies
  1. Tom Nally says:

    Yes, it was nasty for several days. When the smoke cloud drifted through the downtown area, even the interior of my office was bad. Our throats got a little sore, and my eyes were irritated. Then, as quickly as the smoke cloud arrived, it cleared out when the wind changed. Today, we've had a decent rain. I think the rain is expected to douse the fire. —Tom Nally, New Orleans

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