Image of the Week - Wildfires Devastate California Wine Country

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Detailed Description

Strong winds are quickly spreading wildfire across California's wine country, as seen in these two Landsat 8 images.

At the USGS EROS Center, we study land change, operate the Landsat satellites, and maintain the longest, continuously acquired collection of images of the Earth's land surface.

USGS EROS Center (


Date Taken:

Length: 00:00:59

Location Taken: CA, US


Wine country residents
had little warning when

wildfires ignited late
Sunday night, quickly

spread with 50 mile per
hour wind gusts. More

than 100,000 acres have
burned, with less than

fires contained.

Many homes and businesses
are destroyed, and many

more are threatened at the
time of this Landsat 8 image.

A 5 year drought left the
region parched. Last winter’s

heavy rains were welcome,
but started vegetation growth,

which then dried out after
another hot, dry summer.

Early fall is typically hot
and dry in this part of

northern California, and
winds blowing over the mountain

ranges are quickly
spreading the wildfires.

Gray patches are populated
areas in the valleys.

Bright green is vegetation,
and burned areas are maroon.

Landsat’s shortwave and
near-infrared imaging give a

clear distinction between
burned and unburned vegetation.