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Mapping the Heat! A window into FS National Infrared Operations Unit

Presenter(s):  Mark Christiano

Abstract: 

The availability of current and explicit geospatial information characterizing the location and intensity of fire activity is essential for tactical wildfire management. The USDA Forest Service National Infrared Operations (NIROPS) Unit addresses this operational need through effective acquisition, pre-processing and near real-time delivery of high resolution airborne infrared imagery and fire detection data to requesting incidents. The timely availability of acquired imagery and derived data enables infrared interpreters to generate tactical scale fire mapping products that support situational awareness and informed decision-making by incident command teams.   This presentation will give an overview of the program and case examples from this past summer and years passed.  We will highlight the workflow and how the data is collected and interpreted.

Key Takeaway: People will gain an understanding of something not seen by the public.  IR flights happen at night and the imagery is not generally released to the public.  People will gain a new understanding of some of the support systems that go into wildland fire fighting.  It is a truly unique dataset and program.

Intended Audience: This is a general interest presentation giving an overview of the program to show off an aspect of wildland fire fighting not normally seen by the general public. It focuses on remote sensing and wildfire and will not be super technical

About the presenter(s):

Mark Christiano is the GIS Coordinator for the Kaibab National Forest.  Mark received his Masters in Remote Sensing and Spatial Analysis from the University of Rhode Island.  He worked 8 years at Gateway National Recreation Area - NPS in NYC as the GIS Specialist. before moving to Northern AZ.    At the Kaibab, Mark focuses on bringing new GIS technologies like LiDAR to the forest to find efficiencies and innovations within all aspects of forest operations.