The Esperanza Fire started on Oct. 26 in the dry brush near Palm Springs, Calif. By the time it was contained 6 days later, the arson fire had consumed 40,200 acres, and destroyed 34 homes and 20 outbuildings. Racing through grass, brush and timber, the blaze killed five firefighters and forced hundreds to evacuate. In this ASTER image composite of visible and infrared bands, burned areas are shown in shades of red, vegetation is green, brown vegetation is brown and asphalt and concrete are blue-gray.
With its 14 spectral bands from the visible to the thermal infrared wavelength region, and its high spatial resolution of 15 to 90 meters (about 50 to 300 feet), ASTER images Earth to map and monitor the changing surface of our planet.
The broad spectral coverage and high spectral resolution of ASTER provides scientists with critical information for surface mapping, and monitoring of dynamic conditions and temporal change. Applications include monitoring glacial advances and retreats; monitoring potentially active volcanoes; identifying crop stress; evaluating wetlands; and, monitoring thermal pollution monitoring.
Image credit: NASA/GSFC/METI/ERSDAC/JAROS and U.S./Japan ASTER Science Team