Building off of a previous blog post, a simple RGB can be made that allows for the observation of the hot spot, smoke plume, and burn scar associated with a wildfire. The RGB discussed in this post combines the 3.9 um band (RED) to sense the hot spot, the 0.86 um band (GREEN) to highlight the previously burned area, and the 0.64 um band (BLUE) to track the smoke plume. The hot spot (active wildfire) will appear as red, the smoke plume as faded blue or cyan, clouds a bright cyan, and burned area as a locally dark area. Highly vegetated areas will appear as a bright green, and bodies of water very dark. The recipe used in this example is shown in Figure 1. An animation of this RGB with GOES-17 for the Kincade Fire on 27 Oct is found in Figure 2, and the RGB with the three ingredients is shown as a 4-panel in Figure 3. The active large fire is readily apparent, with the associated burn scar extending north of the ongoing fire. The smoke plume is diagnosed extending well to the southwest of the fire. The heavily forested region of northern California is obvious to the west and northwest of the fire. What appears to be lofted dust is also apparent in this example in the southeast part of the scene.
Bill Line, NWS