Browse All : Images from 20 August 2003
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ISS007-E-13281 (20 August 2003) --- This view features forest fires in the Canadian province of British Columbia where some 620,000 acres of forest were consumed in almost 2,500 fires. Here the Rocky Mountains have both lofty, snow-capped peaks and long, narrow valleys that create special conditions and problems with air quality from these smoky fires. This image taken by one of the Expedition 7 crewmembers onboard the International Space Station (ISS) illustrates how smoke has become trapped in valleys where light winds and cold air drainage from the higher elevations have created temperature inversions. Note how the snowy peaks of the mountains are relatively smoke-free while the long, north-south valleys of Kootenay Lake and Columbia River are filled with trapped aerosols from the plumes of the large fires situated in the southwest. Meanwhile shifting winds have now swept the bulk of the plumes southeastward over the Columbia River Basin of Washington.
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