Grass fire in Colorado

September 19th, 2015 |

GOES-15 (left panels) and GOES-13 (right panels) Visible (0.63 µm) and Shortwave infrared (3.9 µm) images [click to play animation]

GOES-15 (left panels) and GOES-13 (right panels) Visible (0.63 µm) and Shortwave infrared (3.9 µm) images [click to play animation]

GOES-15 (GOES-West) and GOES-13 (GOES-East) Visible (0.63 µm) and Shortwave infrared (3.9 µm) images (above; click to play animation; also available as an MP4 movie file) showed the smoke plume and “hot spot” (dark black to red pixels) associated with a large and fast-burning grass fire in north-central Colorado on the afternoon of 18 September 2015. The smoke plume was more apparent in the GOES-13 visible images, due a more favorable “forward scattering” sun-satellite geometry. The fire burned an estimated 12,669 acres, and dense smoke forced the closure of Interstate 76 for about an hour in the afternoon.

On the following day, the fire burn scar could be seen in a comparison of Suomi NPP VIIRS  true-color and false-color images from the SSEC RealEarth site (below).

Suomi NPP VIIRS true-color and false-color images [click to enlarge]

Suomi NPP VIIRS true-color and false-color images [click to enlarge]

Due to the darker color and the lack of vegetation, the grass fire burn scar also exhibited a much warmer signature on the Terra MODIS Land Surface Temperature (LST) product (below) — LST values were as high as 112º F (darker orange color enhancement) within the burn scar, compared to LST values in the 80s and 90s F in surounding areas.

Terra MODIS Land Surface Temperature product [click to enlarge]

Terra MODIS Land Surface Temperature product [click to enlarge]