A combination of smoke and clouds obscured the Coast Ranges of Northern California on August 14, 2008, when the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on NASA’s Aqua satellite passed over the area and captured this natural-color image. Places where the sensor detected active fire are outlined in red. According to the morning situation report from the National Interagency Fire Center on August 15, 2008, the three fires labeled in this image were affecting nearly 200,000 acres. Fires have been burning in the area since the first week of summer, when thousands of lightning strikes occurred during intense thunderstorms.
The high-resolution image provided above is at MODIS’ maximum 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.