Wildfires in California • Earth.com

Last update: October 19th, 2019 at 2:00 pm

Sparked by lightning, the Ponderosa fire had burned 15,000 acres (6,100 hectares) in northern California by August 20, 2012. It destroyed seven structures and forced the evacuation of parts of Manton, Shingletown, and Viola. The nearby Chips fire had burned 47,040 acres (19,040 hectares).

This natural-color satellite image shows smoke from the fires streaming northeast. It was acquired by the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) aboard the Aqua satellite on August 19, 2012. Red outlines indicate hot spots where MODIS detected unusually warm surface temperatures associated with the fires.

Credit: NASA image courtesy Jeff Schmaltz, LANCE MODIS Rapid Response. Caption by Adam Voiland.

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