GIS Analysis and Remote Sensing Support Southern California Wildfire Response —Vast Array of Applications Give Numerous Agencies the Benefit of Spatial Analysis, High-Powered Visualization

This highlight article describes how remote sensing and geographic information system (GIS) technology planned a key role in pre-planning, emergency response, and post-event recovery in the Southern California wildfires that occurred in the fall of 2003. The author stresses that the use of GIS and remote sensing data proved invaluable for sharing information, cooperative planning, inter-agency preparedness, response, mitigation, and post-event recovery and planning. Aerial photos and satellite imagery were used to help assess drought and potential forest fire area locations. During the fires, satellite data in the form of one-kilometer pixels provided accurate locations of wildfire heat sources. After the fires, GIS-based image analysis was used to identify areas that had burned more intensely than others. This enabled emergency responders to look at variables such as slope, aspect, and soil type to understand where areas highly susceptible to mudslides were located.


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  • Accession Number: 01002048
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Files: TRIS
  • Created Date: Jul 14 2005 10:59AM