Satellite Captures Awful Scar Left by California’s Historic Kincade Fire


The California Kincade fire is on its 13th day, and fortunately the fire is now largely contained. However, the extent of the damage has been extensive, as this disturbing new satellite image reveals.

Satellite Captures Awful Scar

This image was taken at 11:01 a.m. PST (2:01 p.m. EST) on November 3, 2019 by NASA’s Terra satellite, according to a press release from NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory. The Terra satellite is equipped with a special instrument, called Advanced Radiation Emission and Thermal Reflection (ASTER), which uses thermal infrared channels to detect heat on the Earth’s surface.

Burned areas are shown in dark gray, while ongoing forest fires appear as yellow dots. The city of Healdsburg, with a population of 11,254 inhabitants, can be seen to the south and east of the sinister dark gray spots.

The Kincade fire started on the night of October 23, 2019, causing a wave of evacuations. By November 5, some 77,758 acres were burned and 374 structures were destroyed, according to the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection. As ABC News reports, the forest fire is now 80 percent contained and all evacuation warnings have been lifted. The Kincade Fire is now the largest of the California wildfires of 2019 and the largest for Sonoma County, according to the Washington Post and Sonoma magazine.

The cause of the fire is still under investigation, but it began when strong winds blew in much of California. The fire may be connected to a fallen power line belonging to the Pacific Gas and Electric Company, reports the San Francisco Chronicle.

Unfortunately, these fires and their associated blackouts can represent a new normal for Californians, and it is an open question about who should face the cost. Unfortunately, President Donald Trump is waging a personal war in the state of California, apparently due to his lack of political support, and has threatened to cut federal aid for forest fires. Apparently, California ignored the president’s note on the use of rakes to prevent forest fires.

Correction: Due to an editing error, an earlier version of this article incorrectly stated that the Kincade Fire was on its 30th day, when in fact it was on its 13th. We regret the mistake.

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