Spread of the Dixie Fire - 2021

  • Released Wednesday, June 1st, 2022
  • Updated Wednesday, November 15th, 2023 at 12:18AM
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This visualization shows the spread of the Dixie fire between July 14 and October 22, 2021, updated every 12 hours based on new satellite active fire detections. The yellow outlines track the position of the active fire lines for the last 60 hours, with the latest location of the fire front in the brightest shade of yellow. The red points show the location of active fire detections, while the grey region shows the estimated total area burned. The graph shows the cumulative burned area in square kilometers.

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This visualization highlights data from a new fire detection and tracking approach (Chen et al., 2022) based on near-real time active fire detections from the VIIRS sensor on the Suomi-NPP satellite. Every 12 hours, the fire tracking algorithm uses new active fire detections to update the total fire perimeter and estimate the position of active fire lines where the fire may continue to spread. Yellow lines indicate the new fire fronts from active fire data (red points) every 12 hours. This approach provides a detailed perspective on the behavior of the Dixie fire, the largest fire in California history. The fire tracking data identify periods of rapid fire expansion, spot fires from blowing embers outside of the large fire perimeter, and active fire detections within the perimeter from continued flaming and smoldering behind the active fire fronts. In total, the Dixie fire burned for more than 100 days, including more than a month of fire activity after the perimeter was contained in mid-September.

For more details, see the paper here.

This image shows the extent of the Dixie fire on July 21, 2021. The yellow outlines track the position of the active fire lines for the last 60 hours, with the latest location of the fire front in the brightest shade of yellow. The red points show the location of active fire detections, while the grey region shows the estimated total area burned. The graph shows the cumulative burned area in square kilometers.

This image shows the extent of the Dixie fire on July 21, 2021. The yellow outlines track the position of the active fire lines for the last 60 hours, with the latest location of the fire front in the brightest shade of yellow. The red points show the location of active fire detections, while the grey region shows the estimated total area burned. The graph shows the cumulative burned area in square kilometers.

This image shows the extent of the Dixie fire on July 31, 2021. The yellow outlines track the position of the active fire lines for the last 60 hours, with the latest location of the fire front in the brightest shade of yellow. The red points show the location of active fire detections, while the grey region shows the estimated total area burned. The graph shows the cumulative burned area in square kilometers.

This image shows the extent of the Dixie fire on July 31, 2021. The yellow outlines track the position of the active fire lines for the last 60 hours, with the latest location of the fire front in the brightest shade of yellow. The red points show the location of active fire detections, while the grey region shows the estimated total area burned. The graph shows the cumulative burned area in square kilometers.

This image shows the extent of the Dixie fire on August 31, 2021.  The yellow outlines track the position of the active fire lines for the last 60 hours, with the latest location of the fire front in the brightest shade of yellow. The red points show the location of active fire detections, while the grey region shows the estimated total area burned. The graph shows the cumulative burned area in square kilometers.

This image shows the extent of the Dixie fire on August 31, 2021. The yellow outlines track the position of the active fire lines for the last 60 hours, with the latest location of the fire front in the brightest shade of yellow. The red points show the location of active fire detections, while the grey region shows the estimated total area burned. The graph shows the cumulative burned area in square kilometers.

This image shows the spread of the Dixie fire between July 14 and October 22, 2021, with the fire line for each 12-hour step in time shown in a different color.

This image shows the spread of the Dixie fire between July 14 and October 22, 2021, with the fire line for each 12-hour step in time shown in a different color.



Credits

Please give credit for this item to:
NASA's Scientific Visualization Studio


Papers used in this visualization

Chen, Y., Hantson, S., Andela, N. et al. California wildfire spread derived using VIIRS satellite observations and an object-based tracking system. Sci Data 9, 249 (2022). https://doi.org/10.1038/s41597-022-01343-0


Datasets used in this visualization

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