Clouds were banked against the California coastline and skies were filled with smoke on July 13, 2008, when the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on NASA’s Terra satellite captured this image of the state. Forest fires have been burning in the area since the first week of summer, when thousands of lightning strikes occurred during a weekend of “dry” thunderstorms. Places where MODIS detected active fire are outlined in red.
The high-resolution image provided above is at MODIS’ maximum spatial resolution (level of detail) of 250 meters per pixel, and it shows the entire state of California. The MODIS Rapid Response Team provides twice-daily images of Northern and Southern California in additional resolutions and formats, including an infrared-enhanced version that highlights burned ground.