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Cooney Ridge Fire

3 September

2 September


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 Piper Navajo remote sensing aircraft

Fire Science

Wildfire Monitoring and Prediction
Fire Imaging
Cooney Ridge Fire, Missoula, Ravalli, and Granite Counties, MT
2 September 2003

As viewed by the FireMapper™ Thermal-Imaging Radiometer

Images were collected from the PSW Airborne Sciences Aircraft and disseminated in part by satellite communications in near-real time. FireMapper measures the radiance of emitted thermal-infrared light, which readily penetrates smoke. False-color images shown here depict the apparent surface temperature (in Celsius) as estimated from radiance and a simple black-body model. Warmer tones represent recent or active combustion; areas of gray are cooling ash or warm bare ground (see chart below). Low temperatures of unburned forest and cool ground are shown in green. Images have been geographically referenced. Vertical exaggeration in 3-d views is 1.5 to one unless otherwise noted.


Location Map

Area of Cooney Ridge fire

Click on the image above to view a larger JPEG image
Fire Imagery

The following color-coded images depict apparent ground surface temperatures in Celsius. Roads, streams, and the text in the background are from a 1:100,000 topographic map.


Image 1:
Ground surface temperatures as viewed from above at 11.9 micrometers wavelength on 2 September 2003, from 15:43 to 16:39 MDT.

Click on the image above to view a larger JPEG image



Image 2:
Topographic view as seen from the northeast of Image 1.

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Image 3:
Topographic view as seen from the northeast of Image 1.

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TUESDAY SEPTEMBER 2, 2003 - 0800 MDT. (Courtesy of

COONEY RIDGE, Southwestern Land Office, Montana Department of Natural Resources &
Conservation. A Type 2 Incident Management Team (Kechter) is assigned. This fire is in timber,
11 miles east of Florence, MT. Active ground fire, torching and short, wind and terrain-driven
crown runs were observed. Structure protection is in place for 100 residences.


Archives of past fires: 2008 2007 2006 2005 2004 2003 2002 2001

Forest mapping: 2008 2007 2006 2005 2004 2003 2002 2001

FireMapper™ Specifications: Instrument

FireMapper™ References: Publications

FireMapper™ Tools- image analysis software: ftp downloads page

For Further Information: contact Dr. Philip J. Riggan


FireMapper™ has been developed through a Research Joint Venture with Space Instruments, Inc., and support from the National Fire Plan, Forest Service International Programs, the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the Joint Fire Sciences Program, and the U.S. Agency for International Development.
Disclaimer: Trade names, commercial products, and enterprises are mentioned solely for information. No endorsement by the U.S. Department of Agriculture is implied.

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 Last Modified: 2005-03-03