These Satellite Images Of The Santa Rosa Fires Show The Devastation

On Oct. 8, separate wildfires broke out in northern California, and since then, the number of individual blazes has grown to 21.

As the fires spread, death tolls and missing persons numbers rise.

According to the Los Angeles Times, 42 people have been confirmed dead, making this the most devastating set of fires to hit the area.

Satellite images taken by DigitalGlobe show just how widespread the fires are, spanning over 191,000 acres, or roughly the size of New York City.

california fire photo
Getty Images | Justin Sullivan

According to the DigitalGlobe website, the satellites were able to capture these photographs despite all of the smoke: “Although there is a lot of smoke in the area, shortwave infrared (SWIR) can penetrate the smoke and detect heat beneath.”

In some of these photos, you’ll see areas of red and areas that appear more gray and/or black.

DigitalGlobe explained the difference in color to Business Insider noting that the grayish areas are one that have already been burned.

“Some of these are natural color, while others are shown in the Very Near Infrared (VNIR), where burned areas appear gray and black and healthy vegetation is red,” the company said in an emailed statement.

Here is the area before the fires started in these photos taken earlier this summer:


The fires started in a fairly small area:

Digital Globe

But since then, the smoke and flames continued to spread:

Digital Globe

And once the fires were ablaze, they left a huge path in their wake:


Though the Atlas Fire in Napa and Solano Counties has been burning now for a week and a half, there is hope.

Much-needed rain will likely help firefighters contain more of the fire.

“We’ve been battling Mother Nature the whole time, and to have her finally relent and give us the rain we needed to put this thing out, it felt like the end scene of the movie where you feel like you’ve survived,” Sonoma County Sheriff’s Deputy Brandon Jones told the Los Angeles Times.

california fire photo
Getty Images | Justin Sullivan

Using the images from DigitalGlobe, Santa Rosa resident Eric Lu created an interactive map to show how the fire affected certain addresses in the Santa Rosa area.

He and his family used this to see how badly their home had been affected, he said in an email. See the map here.

california fire photo
Getty Images | Justin Sullivan

A Facebook crisis page has also been set up for the Atlas Fire in Napa and Solano Counties, which has useful information and updates from local agencies there.

The best ways to help victims of the fires are through fundraising efforts, such as at the American Red Cross and GoFundMe. ABC 7 News also has a list of ways you can help, including donations to food pantries in the area.

Before and After Pictures

In addition, there are some devastating before and after pictures making the rounds on social media. Our thoughts go out to all those being affected by these and other disasters.

This side-by-side was put together by Suzanne Espinosa, assistant metro editor for the San Francisco Chronicle. It shows Signorello Vineyards in Napa.

Another photo from Espinosa shows Cardinal Newman High School in Santa Rosa.