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Fires in Southern California
This page contains archived content and is no longer being updated. At the time of publication, it represented the best available science. However, more recent observations and studies may have rendered some content obsolete.
The Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on the Aqua satellite captured this image of southern California and the city of Los Angeles (center) on October 25, 2003. A huge wildfire was burning east of the city and has been detected by MODIS and marked with a red outline. The fire producing all the smoke is the Grand Prix Fire and to its east is the Old Fire. Northwest of the city is the smaller Piru Fire. Just one day later, several massive fires were raging across the region, driven by the fierce Santa Ana winds that blow toward the coast from the interior deserts.
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.