Although evacuation orders had been lifted on February 8, 2006, for many residents forced form their homes by a wildfire in California, an image from the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on NASA’s Aqua satellite revealed a large burned area and a still-burning northern flank. The image uses both visible light, like a digital photo, and shortwave and near-infrared electromagnetic energy that MODIS detected. This combination of wavelengths of light makes vegetation appear bright green, water dark blue to nearly black, and burned areas bright pink or red. Clouds are light blue or white. This image was captured by MODIS on February 8, and shows the location where MODIS detected actively burning fire outlined in red. The bright orange glow in this type of image often indicates areas that contain open flame.
This image is shown at MODIS’ maximum spatial resolution (level of detail) of 250 meters per pixel. The larger image shows a wider region. The MODIS Rapid Response Team provides additional images of this area on a daily basis.
NASA image courtesy the MODIS Rapid Response Team, Goddard Space Flight Center