Northerly winds drove the Moonlight Fire south through the Plumas National Forest in Northern California on September 5, 2007. According to reports from the National Forest Service, the fire had grown to 28,000 acres since its start on September 3, and mandatory evacuations were in effect on September 6. The cause of the fire was still being investigated.
This image from the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on NASA’s Aqua satellite shows the fire spreading smoke over the Sacramento Valley on September 5. The area where MODIS detected actively burning fire is outlined in red. The terrain where the fire is burning has heavy timber, a lot of small fuels (slash) lying on the ground, and 80 percent slopes; the extremely steep terrain is a significant challenge for firefighters.
The large image provided above has a spatial resolution (level of detail) of 250 meters per pixel. The MODIS Rapid Response Team provides twice-daily images of the region in additional resolutions.