Post-Fire: Assessing Downstream Effects on Hydrology and Water Quality (Thomas Fire)

  • Released Monday, December 12, 2022

Wildfires leave behind a burn scar with little to no vegetation. Depending on the original biome type and severity of the fire, it may take years for the vegetation to regain its pre-fire biomass. Fire radiative power is an early observational indicator of interest to emergency response providers to prioritize areas with increased risk of mud-slides.

This visualization starts with a wide view of the West Coast of the United States. Regions that experienced fire are shown with red outlines. The camera then zooms in to the Thomas Fire in Southern California. This fire burned about 280,000 acres near Santa Barbara between December 2017 and January 2018. The visualization shows the extent of the fire with a red outline. Burned Area Emergency Response (BAER) soil burn severity data is shown followed by the impact on evapotranspiration, then fire radiative power. The camera then zooms into a region near the coast and shows debris data (depicted as black areas with diagonal white lines).


Please give credit for this item to:
NASA's Scientific Visualization Studio

Release date

This page was originally published on Monday, December 12, 2022.
This page was last updated on Wednesday, November 15, 2023 at 12:18 AM EST.

Datasets used in this visualization

  • [GTOPO30]

    ID: 415
    Type: ModelSensor: GTOPO30

    ID: 481
    Sensor: SIR-C
  • MTBS [Landsat]

    ID: 1169
    Type: Observed Data

    Monitoring Trends in Burn Severity


    See all pages that use this dataset
  • BAER

    ID: 1170
    Type: Observed Data

    Burned Area Emergency Response

    See all pages that use this dataset
  • Evapotranspiration

    ID: 1171
    Type: Observed Data

    Evapotranspiration data were retrieved for the DisALEXI model from OpenET ( under a CCBY4.0 open data license.

    Credit: Melton, F., Huntington, J., Grimm, R., Herring, J., Hall, M., Rollison, D., Erickson, T., Allen, R., Anderson, M., Fisher, J., Kilic, A., Senay, G., volk, J., Hain, C., Johnson, L., Ruhoff, A., Blanenau, P., Bromley, M., Carrara, W., Daudert, B., Doherty, C., Dunkerly, C., Friedrichs, M., Guzman, A., Halverson, G., Hansen, J., Harding, J., Kang, Y., Ketchum, D., Minor, B., Morton, C., Ortega-Salazar, S., Ott, T., Ozdogon, M., Schull, M., Wang, T., Yang, Y., Anderson, R., 2021. OpenET: Filling a Critical Data Gap in Water Management for the Western United States. Journal of the American Water

    See all pages that use this dataset
  • Fire radiative power [Suomi NPP and NOAA-20: VIIRS]

    ID: 1172
    Type: Observed DataSensor: VIIRS
  • Debris Flow Polygons

    ID: 1173
    Type: Observed Data

Note: While we identify the data sets used in these visualizations, we do not store any further details, nor the data sets themselves on our site.