July 4, 2012
The Waldo Canyon fire, near Colorado Springs, as seen from space by the Advanced Spaceborne Thermal Emission and Reflection Radiometer on the Terra satellite. When the image, which includes both visible and infrared light, was taken, the wildfire was 90 percent contained. Vegetation-covered land is red in the false-color image; patches of unburned forest are bright red, in contrast with areas where flecks of light brown indicate some burning. The darkest brown areas burned the most severely. Constructed surfaces, such as buildings and roads, appear light gray and white; the bright red patches of vegetation near Colorado Springs are likely to be golf courses, parks or other irrigated land. The Waldo Canyon fire was first reported June 23, and by the time this image was released, it had burned 18,247 acres. The blaze severely damaged or destroyed 346 homes, making it the most destructive fire in Colorado history.