The flames of the Cedar Fire engulfed the mountain city of Alpine, in Southern California. The fire consumed the trees and brush surrounding the city, and in some places, entire neighborhoods burned. The extent of the fire is clear in these Ikonos images taken on November 8, 2003. The top image, in true-color, shows blackened land completely surrounding Alpine’s suburban neighborhoods. The bottom image shows the same scene in false color. Here, living vegetation is red, while burned areas appear bright green. The only areas which are not burned are landscaped patches around homes or businesses.
The unburned areas are a testament to the efforts of firefighters to protect structures. But despite their best efforts, many lost homes in this area, including Congressman Duncan Hunter. Hunter’s district contains almost all of the Cedar Fire.
The high-resolution image above gives a broader view of the scene in false-color and shows just how little vegetation escaped the flames. All images have a resolution of five meters per pixel. To see additional Ikonos images of the fires, please visit the Space Imaging Fire Gallery.
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This image originally appeared on the Earth Observatory. Click here to view the full, original record.