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Elvia H. Thompson
Headquarters, Washington
(Phone: 202/358-1696)
August 25, 2003
NASA's Space Technology Aids Firefighting
NASA is aiding firefighters and managers battling wildfires across the United States. NASA provides views from space before, during, and after fires. The information allows firefighters to respond to wildfires quickly and effectively allocate precious resources, and helps make firefighting a little easier and safer.

A fire detection feature story is available on NASA's Web site. The story describes how NASA is expanding the United States Forest Service's firefighting toolkit by providing images faster and more often.

NASA provides valuable information to fire managers and firefighters by combining data from multiple spacecraft and Unmanned Aerial Vehicles. Coupled with data from Forest Service airborne instruments and other data from space, scientists and fire managers have a more complete picture of the situation in near real-time. This allows them to allocate resources and plan how best to battle blazes. In addition, complete fire maps are being generated four times a day. These are available on the Internet to everyone, from key decision makers to citizens.

NASA's Ames Research Center, Moffett Field, Calif.; Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif.; and Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, Md. are developing these firefighting tools, technologies and capabilities. They are being developed as part of NASA's Earth Science Enterprise, and the agency's mission to understand and protect our home planet.

NASA's Earth Science Enterprise is dedicated to understanding the Earth as an integrated system and applying Earth System Science to improve prediction of climate, weather, and natural hazards using the unique vantage point of space.

The firefighting technology story is under the "Life on Earth" link at:


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