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Pacific Southwest Research Station
800 Buchanan Street
West Annex Building
Albany, CA 94710-0011

(510) 559-6300

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Lear 35 remote sensing aircraft in the smoke pall at Alta Floresta, Mato Grosso

Fire Science

Fire Science: US-Mexico International Cooperation
The Pacific Southwest Research Station and the Centro de Investigación Científica y de Educación Superior de Ensenada (CICESE), a Mexican Federal institute for science and education in Baja California, are cooperating in scientific studies of fire and forest conservation that mutually affect the Californias.

PSW is providing remote sensing annually over the Sierra San Pedro Mártir, which supports Mexico’s only Californian mixed-conifer forest. Wildland fires have never been effectively suppressed there, and the range has not been subject to timber harvesting or management; thus, it provides a scientific control for fire suppression and forest use north of the border. Imagery is being collected and analyzed to discern rates of drought and pathogen-related forest mortality, to determine the importance of small, lightning-ignited fires in the natural fire regime, and to determine the large-scale consequence of fire on forest structure. Future studies will include monitoring of the behavior of active wildfires in the range.

PSW has also provided a baseline of remote sensing data for coastal estuaries in Baja, which respond to fire-related sedimentation in the backcountry, and for Guadalupe Island, which is home to threatened populations of Guadalupe Cypress and Monterey Pine. Imagery are aiding in conservation of these species and their genetic material, and in efforts to eliminate non-native grazers and restore the island’s terrestrial ecosystem.



Dark ash layer from a recent fire in the Sierra de San Pedro Martir
Relic groves of Guadalupe Cypress on Guadalupe Island



USDA Forest Service
Pacific Southwest Research Station
Riverside Forest Fire Lab
4955 Canyon Crest Drive
Riverside CA 92507



FireMapper™ Specifications: Instrument

FireMapper™ References: Publications

FireMapper™ Tools image analysis software ftp downloads page

For Further Information: contact Dr. Philip J. Riggan

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 Last Modified: 2006-05-15