NASA studying wildfires, predicting future of fire - Tucson News Now

NASA studying wildfires, predicting future of fire

TUCSON, AZ (Tucson News Now) -

There are about 30 wild fires burning in the western part of the U.S. right now. 

NASA is helping track those fires and is projecting what could come in the future.

It is these same NASA researchers who say the 2013 fire season started earlier than most, but has actually been an average year.  Fires are about 50 percent less than they were in 2012. 

NASA is projecting, however, a future of more fire activity across more areas. 

Currently NASA says it sends back live data to help the U.S. Forest Service and crews fighting the fires on the ground.

Satellites look at which areas are actively burning, which areas have already burned, as well as studying the smoke on a global scale.

Tracking emissions and putting them in the circulation map, are just part of what NASA researchers are doing, according to Chris Justice, one of the NASA scientists working on the program.

NASA officials say as fire potential rises, there could be a chance for major fires in the Midwest, Northeast and possibly the Southeast, areas that do not normally experience wildfires.

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