High-Resolution Satellite Images of the Northern California Wildfires - 12/10/2017


Today DigitalGlobe released high-resolution satellite images of the wildfires burning in Northern California. They have killed at least 21 people, destroyed at least 3,500 structures, and burned more than 115,000 acres. The imagery has been collected on 10 and 11 October 2017.

The 10 October 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 colour image of the same area (see the larger overview image on the first slide).

The 11 October images were taken by DigitalGlobe’s GeoEye-1 satellite. Some of these are natural colour, 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 Programme, 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.

Last updated: 19/10/2017