The Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) sensor on NASA’s Aqua satellite acquired these images on Sept. 1. The fires, collectively called the High Cascades Complex, are outlined in red. The top image shows the region in natural color, similar to what the human eye sees. In this image, smoke hangs over the Cascade Mountains. Newly burned land is dark brown, similar in tone to the natural land cover in the desert east of the dark green mountains.
The lower image combines infrared and visible light in a false-color image that reveals the extent of the recently burned area. Here, freshly burned land is red, while plant-covered land is green, and bare or sparsely vegetated land is tan. In this scene, the Razorback and Hancock Complex fires are more obvious. The Razorback Fire is the largest fire in the High Cascades Complex, having burned 51,943 acres as of Sept. 1. The Hancock Complex burned 57,597 acres of grass and is entirely contained. All of the fires started during the same lightning storm on Aug. 24.
NASA images courtesy the MODIS Rapid Response Team at NASA GSFC. Caption by Holli Riebeek.