High-resolution satellite images of the California wild fires show wide area destruction along I-15 in San Bernardino, Calif. The images were taken by Space Imaging’s IKONOS satellite on Tuesday, Oct. 28 while orbiting 423 miles above the Earth. The images show billowing plumes of cloud-like smoke near the town of Devore and around Arrowhead and Gregory lakes in the San Bernardino area approximately 80 miles east of Los Angeles. Some of the images are displayed using the near-infrared light spectrum. In these images the bright red areas actually show green or living vegetation. The blackened or charred areas in the satellite images show areas that have been burned by the wildfire. In one image, IKONOS has captured flames burning the forest near I-15 and I-215.
Commercial satellite imagery is being used before and after wildland and forest fires as an advanced forestry and fire management decision-support tool for planning and remediation. Satellite imagery can pinpoint where forests need to be thinned and can identify individual trees that may have been killed by disease or insects. Recently Space Imaging completed a fire risk assessment project for the Florida Division of Forestry that identifies the potential seriousness of fires in that state and prioritizes areas where mitigation options may be desirable. The project involved compiling numerous statewide current and historical datasets to develop a model that measures wildland fire susceptibility, fire effects and areas of concern. Information on the wildland fire risk assessment system and the results for the Florida study, are available at http://www.spaceimaging.com/solutions/fire_risk/index.htm