Twelve miles west of Redding, California, a fire touched off by lightning in late June 2008 continued to creep through timber and brush in the Whiskeytown National Recreation area in early July. This false-color image of the area was captured by the Advanced Spaceborne Thermal Emission and Reflection Radiometer (ASTER) on July 6, 2008. The use of infrared and visible light in the image highlights the contrast between vegetation (red), naturally bare ground (tan), and burned ground (charcoal). According to the July 8, 2008, report from the National Interagency Fire Center, the Whiskeytown Complex fire was 5,050 acres and 50 percent contained.
NASA image created by Jesse Allen, using data provided courtesy of NASA/GSFC/METI/ERSDAC/JAROS, and the U.S./Japan ASTER Science Team. Caption by Rebecca Lindsey.
The Basin Complex Fire was clearly active on multiple fronts. The large burn scar in the lower center of the center shows that the fire ran all the way to the coast in places. South of Big Sur, portions of the state’s famously scenic coastal highway (Highway 1) had to be closed.