California’s Dixie Fire Keeps Growing
August 11, 2021
The Dixie fire in Northern California has surpassed the Bootleg fire in Oregon to become the largest fire so far this year in the United States. As of August 6, 2021, the Dixie fire had charred more than 432,000 acres that equates to 675 square miles/1,750 square kilometers.
On August 4, 2021, an astronaut on the International Space Station took a photo of the Dixie fire’s thick smoke plume (left). The second image, also acquired on August 4, shows the fire as observed by the Enhanced Thematic Mapper Plus (ETM+) on Landsat 7. It combines natural-color with shortwave-infrared light to cut through some of the smoke and highlight the active fire fronts. In this view, the hottest and most active parts of the fire are orange-yellow.
With wind gusts as high as 40 miles per hour (65 kilometers per hour) that day, the fire quickly advanced across the dry mountain vegetation. It burned through the historic Gold Rush era town of Greenville.
Notice that while most of the smoke is being carried toward the north, some smoke hangs in the valleys and canyons south of the active fire areas. Smoke, which can sink toward the ground during a temperature inversion, is especially apparent in the Feather River Canyon. Wind blowing down the canyon carried some of the smoke toward the Sacramento Valley.
Image created by USA Patriotism! from NASA courtesy photos.
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