This animation of the half-hourly GOES-8 WF_ABBA shows the development of several fires in Colorado, Utah, and New Mexico during the afternoon and evening hours of June 9, 2002. Smoke plumes can be seen streaming from the fires and in the case of the Hayman Fire near Denver, Colorado cumulus clouds also are formed (smoke is grayish in color while clouds are white with a slight blue or yellow tint). These "pyro-cumulus" clouds have been observed in some previous cases involving extremely hot fires, specifically the Idaho and Montana wildfires of August 2000.
This imagery is for "first-look" purposes only. False alarms in California and Oregon due to the low sun angle in the late afternoon are identified as low possibility fires. Objective analysis that compares a sequence of fire images filters these low confidence fires out of the product that NOAA distributes to its users. They remain in the Cooperative Institute for Meteorological Satellite Studies (CIMSS) experimental WF_ABBA imagery since low possibility fires do occassionaly represent fires that are relatively cool, such as those that are just starting, those that are cooling down after nightfall, or those that are smoldering.
There are a few lines of satellite data missing from the 2:15 UTC image. These lines were either not received or removed because they contained bad data.
The Hayman Fire and others disappear at 1:45 UTC due to filtering that occurs when the sun angle reaches a certain value. While this filter occassionally removes legitimate fires, it also prevents the algorithm from reporting many false detections. The image has been left in the loop to maintain the visual continuity.