Category: Tamara Sparks

Wildfires in Arizona

By Elijah Mt. Castle
There are multiple fires burning north of Flagstaff Arizona. The fires are burning in Coconino National Forest. They threaten multiple communities, schools, and cultural landmarks.
The Pipeline fire started on the 12th of June. It has burned over 20,000 acres. The cause of the fire is currently under investigation; however, one person has been arrested by the U.S. Forest Service in connection to the fire. The Pipeline fire caused the evacuation of over 2,000 homes in the surrounding area. The fire is now 33% contained and only one home has been destroyed.
The Haywire fire started on 12th as well. The cause is also unknown, but it is suspected that it was caused by lightning from a passing storm. It has burned over 5,000 acres. The fire has caused around 280 evacuations. The haywire has merged with the Double fire that started around the same time. The fire is not contained.
Pictured are the VNF detections for June 13th – 15th, 2022. Also pictured are the SNPP VIIRS Day/night Radiances for June 13th.

Chinese Fishing Fleet Returns Yearly to Argentina

By Elijah Mt. Castle
A Chinese fishing fleet has returned to the waters around Argentina. This fleet has returned year after year to fish outside of Argentina’s economic exclusion zone (EEZ). The coastal waters inside of the EEZ are biodiverse and home to the second largest squid fishery in the world. Around half of the world’s shortfin squid is caught within Argentina’s waters. The shortfin squid market can generate upwards of $2.4 billion dollars a year. While legal to fish outside of the 200-mile EEZ, portions of the fishing fleet will fish illegally within Argentina’s EEZ. The fishing vessels will turn off their Automatic Identification Systems (AIS) to cross over the EEZ border and fish in Argentinian waters. These illegal fishing practices are estimated to produce upwards of $36 billion globally. Of the fishing vessels near Argentina 69% are Chinese, the other portions being made up of South Korean, Taiwanese, and Spanish vessels. The main type of vessel used is the squid jigger. These types of vessels use lights to attract squids to the surface that then get snagged on the many fishing lines/hooks. Pictured are the VIIRS Day/Night Band average radiances for April 2019-2022.

Largest Wildfires in New Mexico’s History

By Elijah Mt. Castle

Wildfire season has started early in New Mexico. Multiple wildfires have been burning in the state since April. These fires have surpassed the largest fires in New Mexico’s history. Dry conditions, high winds, and the number of fires have hindered fire suppression. Fortunately, most of the wildfires are either contained or approaching containment.

  • The Cooks Peak Fire started on May 13th. It is now 100% contained but is still actively burning. It has burned 59,000 acres and its cause is unknown at this time.
  • The largest wildfire, Hermits Peak, started as two separate fires: a prescribed burn that became uncontrolled on April 6th; and a holdover fire from January that reemerged around the same time. Hermits Peak is the largest fire in New Mexico’s history with a total area burned at 315,000 acres.
  • Cerro Pelado began on April 22nd and its cause is still unknown. It has burned 45,000 acres.
  • Bear Trap began on May 1st and has burned 38,000 acres. Fire teams are suppressing damage to natural resources in the surrounding forest/grasslands.
  • The Black Fire started on May 14th in the Gila wilderness. It has grown to 249,000 acres and fire crews are attempting to prevent it from crossing into Gila National Forest.

Pictured are the VIIRS Nighttime Fire Detections for April 20th – May 27th, 2022. The more pronounced the color, the longer that area has been burning.

2021 Flaring Numbers Published

By Tamara Sparks

EOG has posted our annual 2021 flaring numbers on our VNF website. Global flaring increased slightly in 2021 to 156.2 BCM from 152.6 BCM in 2020, including upstream and downstream flaring. Both upstream and downstream flaring saw a slight increase.

Russia remained the top country for upstream flaring. Among the top 10 countries for upstream flaring, Russia, Iran, Mexico, and Libya had substantial increases in flaring, while the US, Algeria, Venezuela, and Nigeria saw decreases. The US in particular had a large drop in flaring in 2021 to almost half of what is was in 2019.