False-color image of fires burning to the south of Etosha Pan, Namibia, acquired on 18 October 2020 by the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) instrument, aboard NASA's Terra satellite. This false-color image is comprised of MODIS bands 7-2-1. This band combination is useful for highlighting burned areas (shown here in deep red). Bright red areas on the edges of the burned area are actively burning areas.
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 1 may increase, but that may be offset by the presence of black carbon residue; the near infrared (Band 2) will become darker, and Band 7 becomes more reflective. When assigned to red in the image, Band 7 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.