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Two Perspectives on Forest Fire

Two Perspectives on Forest Fire

Multi-angle Imaging Spectroradiometer (MISR) images of smoke plumes from wildfires in western Montana acquired on August 14, 2000. A portion of Flathead Lake is visible at the top, and the Bitterroot Range traverses the images. The left view is from MISR's vertical-viewing (nadir) camera. The right view is from the camera that looks forward at a steep angle (60 degrees). The smoke location and extent are far more visible when seen at this highly oblique angle. However, vegetation is much darker in the forward view. A brown burn scar is located nearly in the exact center of the nadir image, while in the high-angle view it is shrouded in smoke. Also visible in the center and upper right of the images, and more obvious in the clearer nadir view, are checkerboard patterns on the surface associated with land ownership boundaries and logging.

Compare these images with the high resolution infrared imagery captured nearby by Landsat 7 half an hour earlier.

Images by NASA/GSFC/JPL, MISR Science Team.