This video is a 4-day timelapse of the Camp Fire in Butte County and the Woolsey Fire in Ventura County, between Nov 9-13. It was created by the UC Davis Library in collaboration with UC Davis remote sensor specialists in the Center for Spatial Technologies and Remote Sensing (CSTARS) program.
The video’s creator Quinn Hart, a digital applications manager at the UC Davis Library, provides a day-by-day account of what the video is showing:
Friday: “As you press play, you start to see big plumes from the two different fires, their point of origin.”
Saturday: “Smoke lingers from the evening, and cloud cover comes in. It’s difficult to tell the difference between the clouds and smoke at this point. Later in the afternoon, you start to see the plumes from the fires themselves.”
Sunday: “Smoke from the fires in Ventura has dissipated by then. But the wind speed was among the highest this day from the fire in Butte County, with the smoke really cranking and blowing in an unusual direction that fills in during the afternoon.”
Monday: “This is the one where it’s difficult to tell the difference between smoke and cloud cover from these images.”
Tuesday: “You can’t really see anything because it’s a cloud cover day.”
UC Davis’ John Muir Institute of the Environment and CSTARS groups maintain direct connection to NOAA’s GOES Weather Satellites through receiver dishes on campus at Academic Surge and Kemper Hall.
UC Davis and CSTARS typically use imagery from the satellite receivers to help determine the required water use for California’s farmers and water managers, but, as this shows, it has applications for fire research and management, as well.
A more detailed look at the video’s creation and additional videos are at this blog post, “Time-lapse Video Shows Smoke Plumes From Wildfires” from the UC Davis Library.
Kat Kerlin is an environmental science writer and media relations specialist at UC Davis. She’s the editor of the Science & Climate website and its “What Can I Do About Climate Change?” blog. @UCDavis_Kerlin