Mountain Fire, California

Mountain Fire, California

On July 18, 2013, the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on NASA’s Aqua satellite captured this image of the Mountain fire burning through chaparral in southern California near Palm Springs. Red outlines indicate hot spots where MODIS detected unusually warm surface temperatures associated with fire.

The fire started on July 15, 2013. By July 18, it had burned nearly 25,000 acres (10,000 hectares), forced the evacuation of thousands of people, and destroyed at least seven homes. The lower image, a photograph taken by a U.S. Forest Service employee, shows the fire as seen from California State Route 74 on July 17.

According to the National Interagency Fire Center, a total of 2,108,829 acres (853,413 hectares) had burned during the 2013 wildfire season in the United States as of July 18. Over the past ten years, the average number of U.S. acres burned by mid-July was 3,577,060 acres (1,447,585 hectares).

Images & Animations


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  • Data Date:

    July 18, 2013
  • Visualization Date:

    July 19, 2013
  • Sensor(s):

    Aqua - MODIS
NASA - National Aeronautics and Space Administration