Latest News and Updates

November 14, 2018
November 12th, 2018 VIIRS Near Real-Time Fires and Thermal Anomalies product from NASA LANCE.
The images below show the California wildfires located by NASA Visible Infrared Imaging Radiometer Suite (VIIRS) Near Real-Time Fires and Thermal Anomalies product (in red points) from the Land, Atmosphere Near real-time Capability for EOS (LANCE). The map of California was provided through VIIRS true color imagery via NASA Worldview from November 9 - 12, 2018. The images show the extent of the Camp Fire, Woolsey Fire and Hill Fire burning in California. The red outlines with smoke indicate areas of active fire. November 9th, 2018 VIIRS Near Real-Time Fires and Thermal Anomalies product from NASA LANCE. November 10th, 2018 VIIRS Near Real-Time Fires and Thermal Anomalies product from NASA LANCE.

 

November 13, 2018
NASA's ARIA team created this Damage Proxy Map showing the impact of the Camp Fire in Northern California. The white rectangle shows a closer view of the town of Paradise.  NASA/JPL-Caltech/ESA
NASA's ARIA team created this Damage Proxy Map showing the impact of the Camp Fire in Northern California. The white rectangle shows a closer view of the town of Paradise. This image was created by NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory's Advanced Rapid Imaging and Analysis (ARIA) team, using data provided by the European Space Agency's Copernicus Sentinel-1 satellites. NASA/JPL-Caltech/ESA Monday, November 12, NASA shared enhanced satellite map images featured above of the Camp Fire in Northern California and The Woolsey Fire in Southern California. These images are called Damage Proxy Maps. The yellow and red spots show changes to the grounds surface, with red indicating more severe fire damage. "Although the maps may be less reliable over vegetated terrain, like farmland, they can help officials and first responders identify heavily damaged areas and allocate resources as needed," NASA says. The Camp Fire north of Sacramento wiped out the town of Paradise and is responsible for at least 48 deaths, making it the deadliest in the state's history. The Woolsey Fire near Los Angeles has claimed at least two lives and burned through the community of Malibu, claiming the famous Paramount Ranch movie set in the process. 

 

November 13, 2018
This image from NASA Worldview shows smoke from the California Camp Fire as seen by the AQUA satellite's MODIS instrument. Credits: NASA Worldview, Earth Observing System Data and Information System (EOSDIS).
The six-day-old Camp Fire has already attained the unfortunate title of California's deadliest fire. The Camp Fire has already led to 42 deaths with a number of residents still unaccounted for. It is also the most destructive in California history as well with over 7,000 structures destroyed by the blaze. The fire began on Nov. 08, 2018 and has grown to a staggering 125,000 acres in just under a week. The cause of this blaze is still under investigation. California state regulators are investigating two utility companies that reported incidents close in time and location to the start of the Camp fire.  Over 52,000 people have been evacuated due to the Camp Fire in over 1,300 shelters.  To date the blaze is only 30% contained. Extremely dry fuels from on-going drought conditions in California remain coupled with rugged terrain and these two issues are presenting firefighters with challenging conditions.  Dry conditions with high winds contribute to massive and fast fire growth. Presently the high winds have abated and fire growth has slowed. Responders from across the country have joined the effort from Wyoming, Washington, Oregon, New Mexico, Nevada, Arizona, Utah, Colorado, South Dakota and Nebraska. Last night firefighters continued to hold established containment lines. Firefighters actively fought the fire and worked aggressively providing structure protection.  Crews will continue to provide structure protection throughout daytime operations. Firefighters will work to put direct and indirect fire lines in while scouting and putting in contingency lines ahead of the fire. Many risks and hazards along with steep terrain in some areas will impede firefighting efforts.  The forecast calls for continued low relative humidity and the dry fuel combined with steep rugged terrain will continue to impede efforts.

 

November 10, 2018
Images showing smoke plume data from California Wildfires
The recent catastrophic fires in California have yielded scenes of chaos in the region and the NASA Disasters program is working on providing the most recent satellite information that could help people on the ground. Dispersed smoke through the region has serious impacts on air quality and satellite information can bring several perspectives of smoke layers that are released into the atmosphere. Two satellites, the NASA/NOAA Suomi National Polar-orbiting Partnership, or Suomi NPP and Cloud-Aerosol Lidar and Infrared Pathfinder (CALIPSO), flying within 30 minutes from each other have been used to investigate smoke plumes on November 10, 2018. The Visible Infrared Imaging Radiometer Suite (VIIRS) radiometer on the NPP satellite captured an image of the smoke coming from the Camp Fire in California and spreading across the Pacific Ocean. The CALIPSO space-borne lidar is used to profile the smoke. Elevated smoke layers up to 3-4 km are observed by the CALIPSO lidar across the Pacific Ocean (area 1 on the figure), while smoke near the source region over the San Francisco Bay area seems to remain near the ground between 0-2 km. Smoke caped near the ground worsens air quality and poses serious risk to public health. The NASA Disasters Program is working on providing satellite information to end-users to improve air quality forecasts.  

 

November 13, 2018
NASA FIRMS Near-Real Time Data 
NASA FIRMS Near-Real Time Data  NASA’s Fire Information for Resource Management System (FIRMS) distributes Near Real-Time (NRT) active fire data within three hours of satellite overpass from both the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) and the Visible Infrared Imaging Radiometer Suite (VIIRS). Natural Resource Managers need to know where a fire is quickly to be able to prepare for and respond to a wildfire event. NASA FIRMS NRT helps to visualize the location of a fire in a timely manner. 

 

November 13, 2018
Woolsey Fire ARIA DPM 
Woolsey Fire ARIA DPM  The Advanced Rapid Imaging and Analysis (ARIA) team at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California, created this Damage Proxy Map (DPM) depicting areas of Southern Cailfornia that are likely damaged (shown by red and yellow pixels) as a result of the Woolsey Fire. The map is derived from synthetic aperture radar (SAR) images from the Copernicus Sentinel-1 satellites, operated by the European Space Agency (ESA). The pre-event images were taken before (November 5, 2018) and the post-event image was acquired during the fire (November 11, 2018). The map covers an area of 50 miles x 25 miles (80 km x 40 km). Each pixel measures about 33 yards x 33 yards (30 m x 30 m). The color variation from yellow to red indicates increasingly more significant ground surface change. Preliminary validation was done by comparing to the Approximate fire location by the Google Crisis map. This damage proxy map should be used as guidance to identify damaged areas, and may be less reliable over vegetated areas. For example, the scattered single colored pixels over vegetated areas may be false positives, and the lack of colored pixels over vegetated areas does not necessarily mean no damage. 

 

November 13, 2018
Camp Fire ARIA DPM 
Camp Fire ARIA DPM  The Advanced Rapid Imaging and Analysis (ARIA) team at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California, created this Damage Proxy Map (DPM) depicting areas of Southern Cailfornia that are likely damaged (shown by red and yellow pixels) as a result of the Camp Fire in Northern California. The map is derived from synthetic aperture radar (SAR) images from the Copernicus Sentinel-1 satellites, operated by the European Space Agency (ESA). The pre-event images were taken before (November 5, 2018) and the post-event image was acquired during the fire (November 10, 2018). The map covers an area of 50 miles x 25 miles (80 km x 40 km). Each pixel measures about 33 yards x 33 yards (30 m x 30 m). The color variation from yellow to red indicates increasingly more significant ground surface change. Preliminary validation was done by comparing to the Approximate fire location by the Google Crisis map. The color variation from yellow to red indicates increasingly more ground surface change. This damage proxy map should be used as guidance to identify damaged areas, and may be less reliable over vegetated areas. For example, the scattered single colored pixels over vegetated areas may be false positives, and the lack of colored pixels over vegetated areas does not necessarily mean there has not been damage. 

 

November 13, 2018
Innovation Now icon
"Innovation Now" is a daily 90-second radio series and podcast that gives listeners a front row seat to hear compelling stories of revolutionary ideas, emerging technologies and the people behind the concepts that are shaping our future. In the November 9th 2018 episode "Fire and Air", NASA Wildfire researcher Amber Soja was interviewed on how NASA uses the vantage of space to safeguard our future.

 

November 11, 2018
The Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectrometer (MODIS) on NASA's Terra satellite captured the natural-color image above on November 9.
The Operational Land Imager on USGS/NASA Landsat 8 acquired this image on November 8, 2018, around 10:45 a.m. local time (18:45 Universal Time).   On November 8, 2018, the Camp Fire erupted 90 miles (140 kilometers) north of Sacramento, California. As of 10 a.m. Pacific Standard Time on November 9, the fire had consumed 70,000 acres of land and was five percent contained, or surrounded by a barrier. The Operational Land Imager on Landsat 8 acquired this image on November 8, 2018, around 10:45 a.m. local time (18:45 Universal Time). The image was created using Landsat bands 4-3-2 (visible light), along with shortwave-infrared light to highlight the active fire. The fire started around 6:30 a.m. Pacific Standard Time, and by 8:00 p.m., it had burned 20,000 acres of land.

 

November 11, 2018
ARIA's Damage Proxy Map shows areas damaged by the Woolsey Fire in California.
The Advanced Rapid Imaging and Analysis (ARIA) team at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California, created this Damage Proxy Map (DPM) depicting areas of Southern Cailfornia that are likely damaged (shown by red and yellow pixels) as a result of the Woolsey Fire in California. The map is derived from synthetic aperture radar (SAR) images from the Copernicus Sentinel-1 satellites, operated by the European Space Agency (ESA). The pre-event images were taken before (November 5, 2018) and the post-event image was acquired during the fire (November 11, 2018). The map covers an area of 50 miles x 25 miles (80 km x 40 km), indicated with the big red polygon. Each pixel measures about 33 yards x 33 yards (30 m x 30 m). The color variation from yellow to red indicates increasingly more significant ground surface change. Preliminary validation was done by comparing to the Approximate fire location by the Google Crisismap. This damage proxy map should be used as guidance to identify damaged areas, and may be less reliable over vegetated areas. For example, the scattered single colored pixels over vegetated areas may be false positives, and the lack of colored pixels over vegetated areas does not necessarily mean no damage.  Sentinel-1 data were accessed through the Copernicus Open Access Hub. The image contains modified Copernicus Sentinel data (2018), processed by ESA and analyzed by the NASA-JPL/Caltech ARIA team. This research was carried out at JPL funded by NASA.  For more information about ARIA, visit: http://aria.jpl.nasa.gov     

 

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