A record year for fire devastation in US

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Between January 1 and September 12, 2006, a total of 8,653,883 acres of land had burned in the United States, exceeding the totals for the same period of any other year since 2000.

Thick white smoke seeps through the valleys of the ranges of the Rocky Mountains that run through Idaho, Washington, and Oregon, in this photo-like image taken by NASA on September 12, 2006.

At the time, firefighters were monitoring 29 wild fires in the three states, said the National Interagency Fire Center.

Most of the fires are burning in the deep-green, pine-covered mountains. Sage, scrub, and grass-covered desert is tan, while agricultural land creates a pattern of tiny bright green and gold dots.

NASA image created by Jesse Allen, Earth Observatory, using data provided courtesy of the MODIS Rapid Response team.