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Today DigitalGlobe released high-resolution satellite images of the wildfires burning in Northern California. These wildfires have killed at least 21 people, destroyed at least 3,500 structures, and burned more than 115,000 acres. In the above link, you’ll find imagery of the Santa Rosa, Calif., area taken yesterday and today.
The October 10 images were collected using the Shortwave Infrared (SWIR) sensor on DigitalGlobe’s WorldView-3 satellite, which is uniquely able to pierce through the wildfire smoke to see where the fires are burning on the ground. For comparison, the ground and the fire line are completely obstructed by smoke in the natural color image of the same area (see the larger overview image on the first slide).
The October 11 images were taken by DigitalGlobe’s GeoEye-1 satellite. Some of these are natural color, while others are shown in the Very Near Infrared (VNIR), where burned areas appear gray and black and healthy vegetation is red.
Additionally, DigitalGlobe has activated its Open Data Program, which provides imagery to support recovery efforts in the wake of large-scale natural disasters. Pre- and post-wildfire imagery of the affected areas are available to emergency responders on the Santa Rosa wildfires page.