Imagery from the VIIRS instrument aboard NASA/NOAA's Suomi NPP satellite highlights the burn scars from the Elkhorn Fire in northern California on Sep. 01, 2020.
Imagery from the VIIRS instrument aboard NASA/NOAA's Suomi NPP satellite highlights the burn scars from the Elkhorn Fire in northern California on Sep. 01, 2020. This false-color image of the firescape made by using the reflective solar bands on Suomi NPP highlights those areas which have been burned. Suomi NPP's corrected reflectance solar bands (Bands M11-I2-I1) are most useful for distinguishing burn scars from naturally low vegetation or bare soil. In addition, these reflectance bands are able to show the following: "Burned areas or fire-affected areas are characterized by deposits of charcoal and ash, removal of vegetation and/or the alteration of vegetation structure. When bare soil becomes exposed, the brightness in Band I1 may increase, but that may be offset by the presence of black carbon residue; the near infrared (Band I2) will become darker, and Band M11 becomes more reflective. When assigned to red in the image, Band M11 will show burn scars as deep or bright red, depending on the type of vegetation burned, the amount of residue, or the completeness of the burn."
his information is from the Worldview application website where the images in this story were downloaded. Another interesting point to note is that in this image, the fire line can be seen about a third of the way down the image. At this point the smoke is the heaviest and there is a demarcation line marking where the fires have burned and also where the fires are heading. Using the reflective bands on Suomi NPP vegetation shows up as a bright green color. All of this information is very valuable to both firefighters and scientists in finding out the line of the fire and where that fire is heading.
Read more at: NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center
A NOAA/NASA Suomi NPP VIIRS image of the Elkhorn fire and parts of the August Complex fire in Northern California on Sep. 01, 2020 (without labels). (Photo Credit: NOAA/NASA)