June 9, 2013 - Powerhouse Fire, southern California

Powerhouse Fire, southern California

On May 30, 2013 a spark ignited in the remote and rugged chapparal north of Los Angles, California. By June 8, the resulting inferno had consumed 30,274 acres, destroyed 30 homes and 28 outbuildings. On that same date, firefighters had brought the fire to 90% containment, according to Inciweb.

On June 2, the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) aboard NASA’s Aqua satellite flew over the region and captured this true-color image. A large red hot-spot indicates the area where the fire burned. A smoke plume rises from this area, and blows to the northeast before spreading over the region. Los Angeles is the gray-smudged area southwest of the hot spot, and is partially covered by a bank of clouds.

The cause of the fire remains unknown, but extremely high heat and low humidity has created dangerous fire conditions. A record high temperature of 106°F was recorded on June 7 near the Powerhouse Fire, and humidity was only 8%. According to Inciweb, the fire is expected to be 100% contained by June 10.

Image Facts
Satellite: Aqua
Date Acquired: 6/2/2013
Resolutions: 1km (152.1 KB), 500m (535.6 KB), 250m (1.3 MB)
Bands Used: 1,4,3
Image Credit: Jeff Schmaltz, MODIS Land Rapid Response Team, NASA GSFC