The only thing we can be sure of about the future is that it will be absolutely fantastic. So if what I say now seems to you to be very reasonable, then I have failed completely. Only if what I tell you appears absolutely unbelievable, have we any chance of visualizing the future as it really will happen.

- Arthur C. Clarke (h/t Brin)

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Bastrop Fires Subside

I think Ron was joking, but in fact some of the success in controlling the Bastrop fire was actually due to informal, volunteer contributions.

Firefighters are mopping up the remnants of a blaze that tore through Bastrop State Park this week. All but 100 acres of the park were blackened by wildfire, but crews managed to save many historic Depression-era buildings.

...

Firefighters worked 30 hours without rest to limit damage by the fire. They saved cabins and other structures by spraying them with water and carving fire lanes around them with bulldozers loaned to the agency by volunteers.
Here's (hopefully) the final footprint of the Bastrop fire.


(NASA explains the 'LEUCKE', which is coincidentally used to calibrate their image resolution.)
We also made an empirical estimate of spatial resolution for lower contrast vegetation boundaries. By clearing forest so that a pattern would be visible to landing aircraft, a landowner outside Austin, Texas (see also aerial photo in Lisheron 2000), created a target that is also useful for evaluating spatial resolution of astronaut photographs. The forest was selectively cleared in order to spell the landowner's name 'LUECKE' with the remaining trees (figure 10). According to local surveyors who planned the clearing, the plan was to create letters that were 3100 ´ 1700 ft (944.9 ´ 518.2 m).

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