Firefighters completely contained the High Cascades Complex fires on September 16, 2011. Burning in northern Oregon—primarily in the Warm Springs Reservation, belonging to the Wasco and Palute Tribes—the fires were started on August 24 by a lightning storm. By September 16, the fires had burned 108,154 acres.
Smoke rising from Badger Butte indicates that at least one fire was still active on September 9, when the Landsat 5 satellite acquired these images. The top image shows the fires in natural color, similar to what the human eye would see. The lower image includes infrared light. It shows the location of newly burned land more readily than the top true-color image.
The infrared image shows five distinct burned areas in brick red. Other red areas in the scene are either old burn scars, exposed lava flows, or land that is clear for other reasons. All of the burned areas shown are part of the High Cascades Complex.
NASA Earth Observatory image created by Jesse Allen and Robert Simmon, using Landsat data provided by the United States Geological Survey. Caption by Holli Riebeek.