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July 3, 2002

Release: 02-37

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Infrared photo from the ER-2
New images of Arizona's Rodeo-Chediski wildfire, which according to news reports is the largest in the state's history, have been acquired by NASA's Moderate Imaging Spectroradiometer Airborne Simulator (MODIS) instrument on a high-flying NASA ER-2 aircraft. The images show the extent of the burn area and pinpoint areas of active burning as of the morning of July 1.

The images were acquired while the ER-2 was en route from NASA's Dryden Flight Research Center, Edwards, Calif., to Key West Naval Air Facility, Fla., in preparation for the upcoming Cirrus Regional Study of Tropical Anvils and Cirrus Layers (CRYSTAL-FACE) research mission. The newly acquired wildfire images will be used to validate rapid response wildfire maps produced by NASA's MODIS instrument aboard the Terra spacecraft. They will also be provided to the U.S. Forest Service for potential use in post-fire damage assessments.

Natural photo from the ER-2
The photographs of the Rodeo-Chediski burn area were acquired by the MODIS Airborne Simulator aboard NASA's ER-2 aircraft while it was flying at an altitude of 64,000 feet over northeast Arizona. The photos may be obtained at the following URL:

(Note that the N and H are uppercase.) From that page, scroll down to "This Week's Events" and then click on first fire icon for the Rodeo-Chediski fire in Arizona.

The first photo posted July 3 is a zoom image of the two largest areas of active Rodeo-Chediski fire. It is an infrared composite and depicts two thermal and short-wave infrared images showing burned areas as shades of yellow and orange. Unburned areas are deeper red, and clouds are pale blue. There is very little active burning visible at this time.

In the second photo posted July 3, clouds and smoke are clearly visible in the natural color composite image of the Rodeo-Chediski fire.


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