Viewing Fire Behavior Changes with VIIRS DNB Products

The VIIRS DNB Radiance and Radiance RGBs showed an increase in fire activity on the night following record high temperatures and unstable conditions over northern NM.  The Thompson Ridge Fire is nearly 22,000 acres, the Tres Lagunas Fire 10,000 acres, and the newly started Jaroso Fire is approximately 1,000 acres.  The DNB products showed the increased radiance between Monday, June 10th and Tuesday, June 11th, especially for the Tres Lagunas Fire.  The new Jaroso Fire to the north of Tres Lagunas is clearly visible on the nighttime product on the morning of the 11th.  Some cloud cover is also visible on the Radiance RGB to the north of the Thompson Ridge Fire on the 11th.

VIIRS-DNB-Radiance-RGB-061013-328amVIIRS-DNB-Radiance-061013-328am

VIIRS-DNB-Radiance-RGB-061113-309am

VIIRS-DNB-Radiance-061113-309am

2 thoughts on “Viewing Fire Behavior Changes with VIIRS DNB Products

  1. Happy to see that ABQ is making use of this new capability from VIIRS. The Thompson Ridge Fire looks like it has several active fire areas and covers a large area. Has there been smoke at night, and if so, how has it affected local residence? Is the magnitude of these fires the primary concern for the WFO and hence the size of the bright radiance areas; or is the specific location of bright pixels of interest? It seems that a slight shift to the northwest of most pixels occurs from the 10th to the 11th with the 11th lining up better with lights along road ways such as interstate 25 between Santa Fe and Albuquerque and highway 84/285 to the north of Santa Fe.

  2. There have been lots of hazy skies during the morning hours but the main smoke impacts have been in the immediate vicinity of the fires. No ground observations have reported visibility restrictions so far. These fires are not particularly large compared to the past couple years however they are still significant in many respects. There are daily infrared flights over each of the fires to determine the approximate growth from the day before so the resolution of the satellite imagery will likely not be as good at detecting the extent of new burn areas. However we would expect that increased radiance during the overnight period may relate to burn severity and potential for flash flooding as the wetter season approaches. We have noted some shifts in the satellite imagery on the order of 5 or 10 miles.

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