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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This page contains archived content and is no longer being updated.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 image above (top) shows burn scars around Lake Piru in the Santa Susana Mountains near Santa Clara, California, northwest of Los Angeles. The earlier image shows the same area on September 22, 2003, prior to when the fires swept through. In the earlier image, healthy vegetation appears green, and naturally bare ground (or ground with sparse vegetation) appears pink. A few weeks later, fire has transformed the scene.
The areas to the east and northeast of the lake appear unchanged, while the entire left and lower right portions of the scene exhibit the deep red color that burned areas take on in false-color images made from satellite observations of the near and shortwave infrared part of the electromagentic spectrum. In the November 2, 2003, image, the nothern end of the lake is quite turbid, which could have been caused by ash and fire debris.
This pair of false-color ASTER image composites was created using shortwave infrared, near infrared, and green wavelengths (ASTER bands 5, 3, and 1).