Infrared Branch


The mission of the NIICD's Infrared Branch is to provide accurate high-quality infrared imagery to an incident in a timely manner. Through the years this has become quite a task. As technology advances, so do infrared mapping requirements. NIICD Infrared, with the assistance of the Remote Sensing Applications Center in Salt Lake City, Utah, is tasked to stay "up-to-date" on emerging infrared technologies and their applications for wildfire suppression and study. NIICD currently accomplishes its mission with thermal line scanners. 

Infrared Line Scanning Interpreters 

The National Infrared Operations Unit products would have minimal value without a host of dedicated and highly trained Infrared Interpreters. These trained professionals can take a thermal image of splotches, wiggles, and dots and locate hotspots, hand lines, dozer lines, and rocks, to say nothing of obvious terrain features like roads, streams, ridges, and buildings, with extreme accuracy. They transfer ortho-rectified line scanner data to local terrain maps. These maps guide incident personnel on where to concentrate their resources and assist in informing local people and media on the fire status. For more information on Infrared Interpreters, email the National Infrared Coordinator or see the following link for more information

Infrared Flight Order Request Forms 

Incidents should initiate an Infrared Flight Order Request in ROSS AND complete an on-line NIROPS Order Form. ROSS orders are initiated through Geographic Area Coordination Centers (GACC). On-line NIROPS Order Forms. To obtain a login, visit the NIROPS site

USDA/FS Infrared System 

Phoenix System 

The latest system from the National Infrared Operations Unit is a Windows-based computer with a Dual Channel Data Acquisition Card. The output of this system will be a geo-referenced ".tiff" file. 


Phoenix Capabilities and Products

USDA/FS Infrared Aerial Platforms 

Citation (Bravo/II) - The USDA Forest Service Infrared Program has a Citation Bravo/II. 

Super King Air B200 - This aircraft has been in the fleet since the mid-80's. 

Contact NIICD's Infrared Staff