Extensive IR spatial images and spectral signatures were gathered from an active large brush and forest fire by the Flying Infrared Signatures Technology Aircraft of the U.S. Air Force Geophysics Laboratory. Infrared images give the apparent temperatures of actively burning and burned over regions and aid in identifying the type and intensity of the fire. Spectral signatures of hot regions from interferometer and spatial data can also be used to determine apparent fire temperatures. Gaseous combustion products in the fire plume are quantitatively identified by the IR absorption spectra at 1-cm-1 resolution using the hot fire emission as the radiation source. Concentrations of CO were measured at 50 times higher than ambient levels. The applicability of these techniques to gathering data relevant to important environmental and military problems, including atmospheric pollution from fires and possible short-term climatic effects due to fires ignited in a nuclear exchange, is discussed.
John R. Stearns, Mark S. Zahniser, Charles E. Kolb, and Brian P. Sandford, "Airborne infrared observations and analyses of a large forest fire," Appl. Opt. 25, 2554-2562 (1986)