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Live Fuel Moisture Estimation Using Sentinel 2 Data in Non-Monospecific Mediterranean Shrublands †

Jose Maria Costa-Saura
Angel Balaguer-Beser
Luis Angel Ruiz
Josep Pardo-Pascual
3 and
Jose Luis Soriano-Sancho
Agriculture Department, University of Sassari, 07100 Sassari, Italy
Foundation Euro-Mediterranean Center on Climate Change, 07100 Sassari, Italy
Geo-Environmental Cartography and Remote Sensing Group (CGAT-UPV), Universitat Politècnica de València, 46022 Valencia, Spain
Technical Unit for Analysis and Prevention of Forest Fires, VAERSA, 46015 Valencia, Spain
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Presented at the Third International Conference on Fire Behavior and Risk, Sardinia, Italy, 3–6 May 2022.
Environ. Sci. Proc. 2022, 17(1), 111;
Published: 30 August 2022
(This article belongs to the Proceedings of The Third International Conference on Fire Behavior and Risk)


Live fuel moisture (LFM) is essential for monitoring fire risk, since it influences vegetation flammability and the rate of spread of fires. Indeed, national and regional fire agencies typically use weather-based methods to predict and map LFM in an operational way. However, contrasting water strategies across species (i.e., isohydric versus anisohydric) and variability in environmental conditions (e.g., soil water conditions) limit the use of these methods. Remote sensing potentially overcomes these limitations, since it directly “observes” vegetation water status. Previous studies using coarse-resolution satellite sensors, ranging from 1 km–300 m (AVHRR, MODIS, ASTER) showed successful results, but were limited to large homogenous and monospecific areas. Here, we take advantage of the new generation of Sentinel-2 sensors, which provide data at high spatial and temporal resolution (10 meters and 5 days, respectively) to build and spatially project an empirical LMF model for heterogeneous Mediterranean areas. The study, located in eastern Spain, includes 15 non-monospecific sample locations and tests different vegetation indices. The Normalized Difference Moisture Index (NDMI), together with the mean temperature of previous days, explained up to 70% of the variability, with a mean absolute error of 6%. Our results highlight the potential usefulness of remote sensing products to build near-real time tailored tools for wildfire risk management.

Author Contributions

Conceptualization, J.M.C.-S., A.B.-B., L.A.R., J.P.-P. and J.L.S.-S.; method- ology, J.M.C.-S., A.B.-B., L.A.R. and J.P.-P.; software, J.M.C.-S. and A.B.-B.; validation, J.M.C.-S. and A.B.-B.; formal analysis, J.M.C.-S., A.B.-B., L.A.R. and J.P.-P.; investigation, J.M.C.-S., A.B.-B., L.A.R. and J.P.-P.; resources, J.M.C.-S., A.B.-B. and J.L.S.-S.; data curation, J.M.C.-S., A.B.-B. and J.L.S.-S.; writing—original draft preparation, J.M.C.-S., A.B.-B., L.A.R. and J.P.-P.; writing—review and editing, J.M.C.-S., A.B.-B., L.A.R. and J.P.-P.; visualization, J.M.C.-S., A.B.-B., L.A.R. and J.P.-P.; supervision, J.M.C.-S., A.B.-B., L.A.R. and J.P.-P. and J.L.S.-S. project administration, A.B.-B.; funding acquisition, A.B.-B., L.A.R., J.P.-P. and J.L.S.-S. All authors have read and agreed to the published version of the manuscript.


This research was funded by the Direcció General de Prevenció d’Incendis Forestals de la Generalitat Valenciana through contract CNME19/0304/42.

Institutional Review Board Statement

Not applicable.

Informed Consent Statement

Not applicable.

Data Availability Statement

Not applicable.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflict of interest.
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MDPI and ACS Style

Costa-Saura, J.M.; Balaguer-Beser, A.; Ruiz, L.A.; Pardo-Pascual, J.; Soriano-Sancho, J.L. Live Fuel Moisture Estimation Using Sentinel 2 Data in Non-Monospecific Mediterranean Shrublands. Environ. Sci. Proc. 2022, 17, 111.

AMA Style

Costa-Saura JM, Balaguer-Beser A, Ruiz LA, Pardo-Pascual J, Soriano-Sancho JL. Live Fuel Moisture Estimation Using Sentinel 2 Data in Non-Monospecific Mediterranean Shrublands. Environmental Sciences Proceedings. 2022; 17(1):111.

Chicago/Turabian Style

Costa-Saura, Jose Maria, Angel Balaguer-Beser, Luis Angel Ruiz, Josep Pardo-Pascual, and Jose Luis Soriano-Sancho. 2022. "Live Fuel Moisture Estimation Using Sentinel 2 Data in Non-Monospecific Mediterranean Shrublands" Environmental Sciences Proceedings 17, no. 1: 111.

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