The Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on NASA’s Terra satellite detected two large fires burning in the mountains of northern Mexico on April 3, 2011. Individual hotspots along the fires’ perimeters are outlined in red. The fires are in the Serranías Del Burro, a sparsely populated mountain range in the Coahuila State near the Texas border.
The front image shows a false-color image of the region. This view includes infrared light, and newly burned land appears brick-red. Plant-covered land is green and bare earth is tan. The hot fires glow orange in the infrared light.
Rolling the cursor over the image reveals a photo-like true color image. Faint plumes of smoke can be seen rising from the fires. The freshly burned land is similar in color to the surrounding desert landscape. This image was taken at 12:25 p.m. local time. As the day progressed, the fires grew more intense, producing thick smoke in a partly cloudy image taken later in the day.
These images, especially the false-color image, show that the two fires are quite large. They had been burning for several days before these images were captured, and a large area of land, covering at least 20 kilometers (12 miles) north to south in each case, had burned.