In California’s Sequoia National Forest south of Lake Isabella, conditions went from flame to flood in the second week of July 2008. The Piute Fire had burned an estimated 36,400 acres and was about 65 percent contained when a thunderstorm brought heavy rains and flash flooding to the burned area on July 12. Fifty-nine firefighters were unable to return to the command post that evening because of flash floods in Erskine Creek. The next day, the firefighters worked to clear and repair damaged roads in order to return to the command post.
This image of the Piute Fire was captured by the Advanced Spaceborne Thermal Emission and Reflection Radiometer (ASTER) on July 10, 2008. Visible and infrared wavelengths of light were combined for the image to enhance the contrast between burned areas (dark purple-gray) and unburned vegetation (green). Land that is naturally bare is pale beige and light gray. The burned area stretches from the Piute Peak area in the southwest to just north of Bob Rabbit Canyon.