Bolivia Fires

Over the past week, fires were raging in the country of Bolivia. Numerous fires were observed by the GOES-16 geostationary satellite, and were spotted across the country. The largest fires were seen in central Bolivia, specifically located northwest of the city of Santa Cruz. On 22 October 2023, the GOES-16 ABI Day Fire RGB, which is sensitive to fire hotspots, burn scars and fire smoke observed the active fires (red colors) and the corresponding smoke plumes (blue colors) covering central Bolivia. The smoke plumes advected to the southeast and impacted the neighboring towns and cities. Refer to the animation below.

Animation 1: GOES-16 ABI Day Fire RGB observations from 17-1930Z, 22 October 2023.

During the same timeframe, VIIRS daytime overpasses from SNPP and NOAA-20 captured the fires at a high spatial resolution of 375-m. Although the polar-orbiters are not as timely as geostationary satellites (i.e., exhibit a coarser temporal resolution), they can provide the finer details of atmospheric and surface features, such as fire and smoke. The VIIRS version of the Day Fire RGB can be seen below, provided by SNPP and NOAA-20.

Animation 2: SNPP and NOAA-20 VIIRS Day Fire RGB observations at 1730Z and 1821Z, 22 October 2023.

Another RGB that can be employed for the fire monitoring is the Fire Temperature RGB, which provides a qualitative estimate of fire intensity. In the RGB imagery, active fires are depicted from red (i.e., cool, less intense fires) to orange to yellow to white pixels (i.e., most intense fires). The animation below highlights a comparison between the VIIRS Day Fire RGB and the VIIRS Fire Temperature RGB from the 1821Z NOAA-20 overpass. The most intense fires are seen near and south of 16 degrees latitude. Note, that the VIIRS Fire Temperature RGB is at 750-m spatial resolution.

Animation 3: A comparison between the NOAA-20 VIIRS Day Fire RGB and VIIRS Fire Temperature RGB at 1821Z, 22 October 2023.

Note to users: the GOES ABI Day Fire RGB can be accessed via CIRA SLIDER. The VIIRS Day Fire RGB and VIIRS Fire Temperature RGB can be accessed via 3 JPSS sectors on CIRA SLIDER: CONUS, Northern Hemisphere, and the Southern Hemisphere.

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