Other spacecraft and tools are involved as well, including VIIRS (the Visible Infrared Imaging Radiometer Suite), OMPS (the Ozone Mapper Profiler Suite), and Landsat satellites jointly operated by NASA and the U.S. Geological Survey.
The Landsat satellites are tapped by a USGS and U.S. Forest Service project called Landfire (Landscape Fire and Resources Management Planning Tools), which NASA says was begun a decade ago "after an intense U.S. wildfire season highlighted the need for unbiased information to guide decision makers as they allocate [fire-fighting] resources."
The above false-color image was captured by Landsat 8 on June 22. It shows the East Peak fire burning in southern Colorado near Trinidad. Burned areas appear dark red, while actively burning areas look orange. Dark green areas are forests; light green areas are grasslands.
All this data is being put to use to understand what effect climate change is having on wildfires in the U.S.
And judging from NASA's projections, the news isn't necessarily heartening.
August 10, 2013 4:51 PM PDT
Photo by: NASA
| Caption by: Edward Moyer
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