The Hayman fire, situated about 65 kilometers southwest of Denver, Colorado, is
the largest fire ever recorded in that state. The amount and distribution of
smoke from the Hayman fire and from the Ponil Complex fires south of the New
Mexico-Colorado border are portrayed in these views from the Multi-angle Imaging
SpectroRadiometer (MISR). The images were captured on June 9, 2002, on the
second day of the Hayman fire, when only about 13 percent of the total 137,000
acres eventually consumed had been scorched.
The image at top-left was acquired by MISR’s most oblique (70-degree)
forward-viewing camera, and the view at bottom-left was captured by MISR’s
26-degree forward-viewing camera. Both left-hand panels are "false color" views,
utilizing near-infrared, red, and blue spectral bands displayed as red, green
and blue respectively. With this spectral combination, highly vegetated areas
appear red. At top right is a map of aerosol optical depth. This map utilizes
the capability of the oblique view angles to measure the abundance of particles
in the atmosphere. Haze distributed across the eastern part of the state is
indicated by a large number of green pixels, and areas where no retrieval
occurred are shown in dark grey. The more oblique perspective utilized within
the top panels enhances the appearance of smoke and reveals the haze. In the
lower left-hand panel the view is closer to nadir (downward-looking). Here the
smoke plumes appear more compact and the haze across eastern Colorado is not
detected. The lower right-hand panel is a stereoscopically derived height field
that echoes the compact shape of the smoke plumes in the near-nadir image.
Results indicate that the smoke plumes reached altitudes of a few kilometers
above the surface terrain, or about the same height as the small clouds that
appear orange along the bottom edge to the left of center.
Data used in these visualizations were generated as part of operational
processing at the Atmospheric Sciences Data Center at NASA Langley Research
Center. The images cover an area of about 400 kilometers x 565 kilometers.