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Article

Fully Automated Countrywide Monitoring of Fuel Break Maintenance Operations

1
Forest Research Centre, School of Agriculture, University of Lisbon, Tapada da Ajuda, 1349-017 Lisbon, Portugal
2
Centre of Technology and Systems/UNINOVA, School of Science and Technology—NOVA University of Lisbon, 2829-516 Caparica, Portugal
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Remote Sens. 2020, 12(18), 2879; https://doi.org/10.3390/rs12182879
Received: 4 August 2020 / Revised: 28 August 2020 / Accepted: 2 September 2020 / Published: 5 September 2020
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Remote Sensing of Vegetation Dynamics and Resilience)
Fuel break (FB) networks are strategic locations for fire control and suppression. In order to be effective for wildfire control, they need to be maintained through regular interventions to reduce fuel loads. In this paper, we describe a monitoring system relying on Earth observations to detect fuel reduction inside the FB network being implemented in Portugal. Two fast automated pixel-based methodologies for monthly monitoring of fuel removals in FB are developed and compared. The first method (M1) is a classical supervised classification using the difference and postdisturbance image of monthly image composites. To take into account the impact of different land cover and phenology in the detection of fuel treatments, a second method (M2) based on an innovative statistical change detection approach was developed. M2 explores time series of vegetation indices and does not require training data or user-defined thresholds. The two algorithms were applied to Sentinel-2 10 m bands and fully processed in the cloud-based platform Google Earth Engine. Overall, the unsupervised M2, which is based on a Welch t-test of two moving window averages, gives better results than the supervised M1 and is suitable for an automated countrywide fuel treatment detection. For both methods, two vegetation indices, the Modified Excess of Green and the Normalized Difference Vegetation Index, were compared and exhibited similar performances. View Full-Text
Keywords: fuel load; vegetation monitoring; wildfire prevention; change detection; remote sensing; time series; Sentinel-2 fuel load; vegetation monitoring; wildfire prevention; change detection; remote sensing; time series; Sentinel-2
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MDPI and ACS Style

Aubard, V.; Pereira-Pires, J.E.; Campagnolo, M.L.; Pereira, J.M.C.; Mora, A.; Silva, J.M.N. Fully Automated Countrywide Monitoring of Fuel Break Maintenance Operations. Remote Sens. 2020, 12, 2879. https://doi.org/10.3390/rs12182879

AMA Style

Aubard V, Pereira-Pires JE, Campagnolo ML, Pereira JMC, Mora A, Silva JMN. Fully Automated Countrywide Monitoring of Fuel Break Maintenance Operations. Remote Sensing. 2020; 12(18):2879. https://doi.org/10.3390/rs12182879

Chicago/Turabian Style

Aubard, Valentine, João E. Pereira-Pires, Manuel L. Campagnolo, José M. C. Pereira, André Mora, and João M. N. Silva. 2020. "Fully Automated Countrywide Monitoring of Fuel Break Maintenance Operations" Remote Sensing 12, no. 18: 2879. https://doi.org/10.3390/rs12182879

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