False-color image of the Donnell, Ferguson, and Lions Fires (from top to bottom) in California, near Yosemite National Park. This image was acquired on 5 August 2018 by the Visible Infrared Imaging Radiometer Suite (VIIRS) instrument, aboard the joint NASA/NOAA Suomi National Polar-orbiting Partnership (Suomi NPP) satellite. This is a false-color, corrected reflectance image (Bands M11-I2-I1) where burned areas show as red. Burned areas or fire-affected areas are characterized by deposits of charcoal and ash, removal of vegetation and/or the alteration of vegetation structure. When bare soil becomes exposed, the brightness in Band I1 may increase, but that may be offset by the presence of black carbon residue; the near infrared (Band I2) will become darker, and Band M11 becomes more reflective. When assigned to red in the image, Band M11 will show burn scars as deep or bright red, depending on the type of vegetation burned, the amount of residue, or the completeness of the burn.
View the progression of the fires as an animation, since 13 July 2018.