Elevation data for this summer’s (2003) fire areas can be downloaded without cost from this web site. The data extent in each file includes the fire area plus a small buffer. The tar files include the digital elevation data in the form of a floating point raster, the spatial metadata provided as both an ARC/INFO export file and a shape file, and a README.
These data were made using the same methods as were standard National Elevation Dataset (NED). See gisdata.usgs.gov/ned. They are in a geographic projection, NAD83 Horizontal Datum, NAVD88 Vertical Datum, and vertical units of meters, Standard NED is currently made at a cell size of one arc-second, or approximately 30 meters. These higher-resolution NED data were made at a finer resolution of 1/3 arc-second to best reflect the 10-meter resolution digital elevation model source data that exists for much of the fire areas. For a great article on NED data see this piece in PE&RS