Forest Service to use satellite imaging to fight fires

Forest Service to use satellite imaging to fight fires

The Forest Service has begun using satellite imaging technology to capture detailed pictures of fires in the western half of the country.

The images should help firefighters better manage efforts to fight fires that spread across western states during the spring and summer, Forest Service officials said.

The initiative is a joint effort of the service, NASA, the National Interagency Fire Center and the University of Maryland.

The Forest Service is building the image processing facility at its Remote Sensing Applications Center in Salt Lake City. The center, which will generate real-time images of western states, will be fully functional within a few months.

The center will continue to use images of eastern states, which have fewer annual wildfires, that are captured by NASA and transmitted to the center by the University of Maryland.

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