Essay: The fires wildfires of 2003

The fires wildfires of 2003 had the highest casualties in San Diegometropolitan area. These were associated to the cedar fire that was moving in the urban areas on the 26th October, 2003. Fire response teams and firefighters were supported by information from these imagery units. The first imagery analysis of theSan Diego area was drawn from the SPOT imagery system.

This was a SPOT 5 (10 meters) scene over cedar fires that provided high resolution imagery over the fires. They then computed a normalized burn ratio for the burned area together with GIS overlay of the vegetation layer. The SPOT imagery gave a clear look into the area than the ground and field observations. SPOT also covered paradise, Otay and mountain fires during this period.

Another imagery method used during the fire analysis in 2003, was the Landsat that was used with the cooperation with USGSEROSDataCenterand provided RSAC images within 24 hours. They are cheaper than SPOT with no rapid delivery fees Lewis et al., (2007).

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