Fires and smoke in southern California

Fires and smoke in southern California
  • Credit:

    Jacques Descloitres, MODIS Rapid Response Team, NASA/GSFC

This image was made using a combination of visible and infrared electromagnetic observations from the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on the Terra satellite from October 26, 2003. The flaming fire fronts are so hot that they are immediately visible in the image as bright pink spots on the perimeter of the fires. Burned areas are brick red, smoke is blue, and vegetation is bright green.

Moving northwest to southeast along the coast, the first cluster of red dots is a combination of the Piru, Verdale, and Simi Incident Fires; the next the east of Los the Grand Prix (west) and Old (east) Fires; to their south is the Roblar 2 Fire; next is the Paradise Fire; then the massive Cedar Fire, whose thick smoke is completely overshadowing the coastal city of San Diego; finally, at the California-Mexico border is the Otay Fire. At least 13 people have lost their lives because of these fires, which officials are reporting were caused by carelessness and arson. Thousands have been evacuated across the region and hundreds of homes have been lost.

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  • Data Date:

    October 26, 2003
  • Visualization Date:

    October 27, 2003
  • Sensor(s):

    Terra - MODIS
NASA - National Aeronautics and Space Administration