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An Aerial Tour of Sonoma County's Burn Scars (PHOTOS)

The Weather Channel logoThe Weather Channel 5/13/2021 Nicole Bonaccorso

Aerial photos allow us to see the scope of disasters, such as hurricanes, tornadoes and wildfires. The photos above show Sonoma County, California's burn scars from both wildfires and prescribed burns from the air.

EcoFlight founder Bruce Gordon took members of the media aboard a flight to photograph recent burn scars in the county. In the images, charred trees and land are apparent over large swaths of vegetation.

EcoFlight uses the power of the aerial perspective to educate and advocate for the protection of land and wildlife habitat.

Last year's California wildfire season was record-setting and devastating. Nearly 10,000 wildfires burned more than 6,562 square miles, or more than 4% of the state's land, according to CalFire. It was the largest wildfire season in California on record.

More than 450 square miles were burned by wildfires in Sonoma and Napa counties in 2020. The images shown in the slideshow above show burn scars from the Glass Fire, which began burning at the end of September 2020 and burned for 23 days in Sonoma and Napa counties, burning more than 104 square miles. Burn scars from the Kincade Fire in 2019, which spanned nearly 121 square miles, are also documented above, as well as those from the Walbridge Fire in September and October 2020, which burned nearly 86 square miles.

Also included are scars from prescribed burns, which help to prevent wildfire spread by getting rid of flammable vegetation in a controlled manner. The use of controlled burns has seen more support in the area over the last few years as a way to defend against destructive wildfires, according to a March 2021 article in Sonoma Magazine.

(MORE: Controlled Burn Takes an Unexpected Turn in Minnesota)

Click through the slideshow above to see the damage done by fires over the past two years in Sonoma County.

The Weather Company’s primary journalistic mission is to report on breaking weather news, the environment and the importance of science to our lives. This story does not necessarily represent the position of our parent company, IBM.


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