Eos, Transactions American Geophysical Union

New images of fire scars may help mitigate future natural hazards


  • Michael S. Rammsey,

    1. Department of Geology and Planetary Science, University of Pittsburgh, 321 Engineering Hall, Pittsburgh, PA, 15260 USA
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  • J. Ramón Arrowsmith


Natural and human-induced fires burned over 6.5 million acres in the western United States during the 2000 fire season. The cost of fighting those fires exceeded $1 billion, and a significant amount of the damage resulted when fires moved from nature to the human environment. The exponential growth of urban centers in the semi-arid southwestern United States has increased the potential for danger from these widespread and damaging fires. Ongoing work to remotely characterize recently burned regions on the periphery of Phoenix, Arizona, has used numerous satellite and airborne data sets to analyze these burn scars.