Mapping the High Park fire restoration effort

Blog Post created by hyltonhaynes Employee on Dec 6, 2012


A collaborative effort between the National Ecological Observatory Nework (NEON) and Colorado State University has resulted in the recent High Park fire site in northern

Colorado being mapped with remarkable detail. The study will be available to environmental professionals and local authorities in early 2013.

The[ High Park fire | http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/High_Park_fire] burned more than 250 homes and over 130 square miles of mostly remote forests in Larimer County, Colorado in June of this year. It's an area so large that
until now without the advancements in mapping technology it would have been almost impossible to gather all necessary data to make informed decisons on restoration efforts.

Late this summer after the fire was out, scientists documented the region aerially in hopes of targeting the areas most in need of restoration to avoid
continuing post-fire problems like erosion, mudslides and other water quality issues.


During the month of August, scientists flew over the burn site in a Twin Otter Plane with various instruments including a high-resolution camera that was able to take detailed images of the entire burned area and a LiDAR optical remote

sensor that can measures distance by using light, providing scientists with a

3-D representation of the landscape. 

The comprehensive study and analysis of this data although very interesting in its own right, will hopefully allow for correct resource allocation to restoration efforts indentified in the burned area.