10/27/2003 - (date of web publication)

Fires in Southern California

satellite image of wildfires in Southern California

(High Resolution version - 5.21 MB)

(Additional images including high resolution and TV res, click here.)

Several massive wildfires were raging across southern California over the weekend of October 25, 2003. Whipped by the hot, dry Santa Ana winds that blow toward the coast from interior deserts, at least one fire grew 10,000 acres in just 6 hours. (Compare this scene with one captured by Aqua MODIS just one day before.) The Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on the Terra satellite captured this image of the fires and clouds of smoke spread over the region on October 26, 2003.

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 cluster—to the east of Los Angeles—is 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.

The high-resolution image provided above is 500 meters per pixel. The MODIS Rapid Response System provides this image at MODIS’ maximum spatial resolution of 250 meters.

Active Fire Pixels seen below

Southern California fires

(High Resolution Version)

The image below shows the smoke plumes rising from the fires. Click the link below the image to see the active fires shown in red or just the smoke plumes.

Images of smoke plumes

See Active Fires See Smoke Plumes

(Active Fires: TV Res. / High Res.) (Smoke Plumes: TV Res. / High Res.)

satellite miage of

(TV Res. / Hi Res.)

All images Courtesy of NASA/MODIS Rapid Response Team.

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For more information contact:

Rani Chohan
Goddard Space Flight Center
Greenbelt, MD 20771

MODIS Rapid Response Team

Terra Satellite

Goddard Top Story page for 10/24/2003

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