Morgan Fire northeast of San Francisco

September 9th, 2013 |
GOES-15 3.9 µm shortwave IR images (click image to play animation)

GOES-15 3.9 µm shortwave IR images (click image to play animation)

The Morgan Fire began burning in the Mount Diablo State Park northeast of San Francisco during the afternoon hours on 08 September 2013, which caused the evacuation of dozens of homes near the fire. McIDAS images of 4-km resolution GOES-15 3.9 µm shortwave IR data (above; click image to play animation; also available as a .mp4 file) revealed that the fire “hot spot” (red color enhancement) first appeared on the 21:30 UTC (2:30 PM local time) image. The fire appeared to “settle down” for a few hours after sunset, but then there was an apparent flare-up of the fire from 04:00 – 06:30 UTC.

One thing to note on the GOES-15 shortwave IR animation above is that there was a significant Image Navigation and Registration (INR) anomaly during the 08:45 – 10:41 UTC period. An AWIPS 1-km resolution Suomi NPP VIIRS 3.74 µm shortwave IR image was available at 09:24 UTC (during the GOES-15 INR anomaly) — a comparison of this VIIRS image with the closest available GOES-15 shortwave IR image (below) demonstrates the value of higher spatial resolution VIIRS data to aid in a more accurate determination of the actual fire size and location.

Suomi NPP VIIRS 3.74 µm and GOES-15 3.9 µm shortwave IR images

Suomi NPP VIIRS 3.74 µm and GOES-15 3.9 µm shortwave IR images

Hot spots associated with the ongoing Rim Fire — so far the 3rd-largest fire on record in California — can also be seen about 100 miles to the east-southeast.