Fires in Oregon and California

Fires in Oregon and California
  • Credit:

    Jacques Descloitres, MODIS Land Rapid Response Team, NASA/GSFC

In southwestern Oregon and northern California, the Biscuit Fire had grown to 435,654 acres as of August 17, 2002. The fire, which was started by lightning on July 13, will likely be one of the largest fires in Oregon—s recorded history, and is still only 35 percent contained. This Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) image from August 18, 2002, shows the large blaze releasing thick smoke, which is drifting southward along the Pacific Coast. To the right of the smoke plume, the fire—s large burn scar spears brown against surrounding green vegetation.

Meanwhile, the Tiller Complex Fire to the northeast had grown to 53,900 acres as of August 18, and was 43 percent contained. This fire consists of eight large fires and numerous other small fires.

In the Sierra Nevada Mountains in southern California, the McNalley Fire continues to grow, particularly along its northern flank. As of August 18, the fire had consumed 142,815 acres, most of which are in the Sequoia National Forest. As the fire continues to spread into the Inyo Wilderness Area to the north, it is threatening water quality in streams that are home to the endangered golden trout, and firefighters are taking measures to prevent contamination in the area--an area so important to the species— habitat that it is called the Golden Trout Wilderness Area.

In the false-color image, vegetation is green, burned areas are reddish brown, and smoke is blue. This Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) image was acquired by the Terra satellite on August 18, 2002.

Images & Animations


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  • Data Date:

    August 18, 2002
  • Visualization Date:

    August 19, 2002
  • Sensor(s):

    Terra - MODIS
NASA - National Aeronautics and Space Administration