Special Issue "Detecting, Mapping, and Characterizing Wildfires Using Remote Sensing Data"

A special issue of Fire (ISSN 2571-6255).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 31 March 2023 | Viewed by 7161

Special Issue Editors

Dr. Fangjun Li
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Geospatial Sciences of Excellences, Department of Geography & Geospatial Sciences, South Dakota State University, 1021 Medary Ave, Wecota Hall 115, Brookings, SD 57007, USA
Interests: remote sensing; biomass burning
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals
Dr. Xiaoyang Zhang
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Wildfires have a profound influence on ecosystem structure and function, energy feedbacks to the climate system, regional socioeconomic conditions, and future land use planning. Quantifying wildfires remains challenging, with large uncertainties, although considerable efforts have been devoted to detecting fire occurrences, mapping burned areas, and characterizing fire behaviors during the last several decades. Therefore, this Special Issue aims to collect articles concerning the quantification of wildfires using observations from satellite (including PlantScope, Landsat, Sentinel-2, MODIS, VIIRS, and geostationary satellites), airborne sensors, and unmanned aerial vehicles.  The specific topics include:

  • New algorithms of detecting actively burning fires and mapping burned areas, particularly in areas dominated by small and/or cool fires (e.g., agriculture burnings) and frequently obscured by clouds (e.g., tropical deforestation fires).
  • Evaluation and validation of existing and emerging fire products using fine resolution fire observations and ground-based fire measurements.
  • Characterization of fire behaviors (intensity, spread rate, progression, etc.) at landscape scale.
  • Characterization of diurnal cycles of fire activity and long-term fire regimes at regional and global scales.
  • Examination of long-term variations of regional and global fire activities.

You may choose our Joint Special Issue in Remote Sensing.

Dr. Fangjun Li
Dr. Xiaoyang Zhang
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All submissions that pass pre-check are peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Fire is an international peer-reviewed open access semimonthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1600 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • remote sensing
  • active fire
  • burned area
  • fire behavior
  • fire regimes
  • diurnal cycles
  • validation

Published Papers (5 papers)

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Research

Article
Evaluating Satellite Fire Detection Products and an Ensemble Approach for Estimating Burned Area in the United States
Fire 2022, 5(5), 147; https://doi.org/10.3390/fire5050147 - 22 Sep 2022
Viewed by 171
Abstract
Fire location and burning area are essential parameters for estimating fire emissions. However, ground-based fire data (such as fire perimeters from incident reports) are often not available with the timeliness required for real-time forecasting. Fire detection products derived from satellite instruments such as [...] Read more.
Fire location and burning area are essential parameters for estimating fire emissions. However, ground-based fire data (such as fire perimeters from incident reports) are often not available with the timeliness required for real-time forecasting. Fire detection products derived from satellite instruments such as the GOES-16 Advanced Baseline Imager or MODIS, on the other hand, are available in near real-time. Using a ground fire dataset of 2699 fires during 2017–2019, we fit a series of linear models that use multiple satellite fire detection products (HMS aggregate fire product, GOES-16, MODIS, and VIIRS) to assess the ability of satellite data to detect and estimate total burned area. It was found that on average models fit with fire detections from GOES-16 products performed better than those developed from other satellites in the study (modelled R2 = 0.84 and predictive R2 = 0.88). However, no single satellite product was found to best estimate incident burned area, highlighting the need for an ensemble approach. With our proposed modelling ensemble, we demonstrate its ability to estimate burned area and suggest its further use in daily fire tracking and emissions-modeling frameworks. Full article
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Article
Modern Pyromes: Biogeographical Patterns of Fire Characteristics across the Contiguous United States
Fire 2022, 5(4), 95; https://doi.org/10.3390/fire5040095 - 10 Jul 2022
Viewed by 1147
Abstract
In recent decades, wildfires in many areas of the United States (U.S.) have become larger and more frequent with increasing anthropogenic pressure, including interactions between climate, land-use change, and human ignitions. We aimed to characterize the spatiotemporal patterns of contemporary fire characteristics across [...] Read more.
In recent decades, wildfires in many areas of the United States (U.S.) have become larger and more frequent with increasing anthropogenic pressure, including interactions between climate, land-use change, and human ignitions. We aimed to characterize the spatiotemporal patterns of contemporary fire characteristics across the contiguous United States (CONUS). We derived fire variables based on frequency, fire radiative power (FRP), event size, burned area, and season length from satellite-derived fire products and a government records database on a 50 km grid (1984–2020). We used k-means clustering to create a hierarchical classification scheme of areas with relatively homogeneous fire characteristics, or modern ‘pyromes,’ and report on the model with eight major pyromes. Human ignition pressure provides a key explanation for the East-West patterns of fire characteristics. Human-dominated pyromes (85% mean anthropogenic ignitions), with moderate fire size, area burned, and intensity, covered 59% of CONUS, primarily in the East and East Central. Physically dominated pyromes (47% mean anthropogenic ignitions) characterized by relatively large (average 439 mean annual ha per 50 km pixel) and intense (average 75 mean annual megawatts/pixel) fires occurred in 14% of CONUS, primarily in the West and West Central. The percent of anthropogenic ignitions increased over time in all pyromes (0.5–1.7% annually). Higher fire frequency was related to smaller events and lower FRP, and these relationships were moderated by vegetation, climate, and ignition type. Notably, a spatial mismatch between our derived modern pyromes and both ecoregions and historical fire regimes suggests other major drivers for modern U.S. fire patterns than vegetation-based classification systems. This effort to delineate modern U.S. pyromes based on fire observations provides a national-scale framework of contemporary fire regions and may help elucidate patterns of change in an uncertain future. Full article
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Article
Subpixel Analysis of Primary and Secondary Infrared Emitters with Nighttime VIIRS Data
Fire 2021, 4(4), 83; https://doi.org/10.3390/fire4040083 - 07 Nov 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 2078
Abstract
Biomass burning is a coupled exothermic/endothermic system that transfers carbon in several forms to the atmosphere, ultimately leaving mineral ash. The exothermic phases include flaming and smoldering, which produce the heat that drives the endothermic processes. The endothermic components include pre-heating and pyrolysis, [...] Read more.
Biomass burning is a coupled exothermic/endothermic system that transfers carbon in several forms to the atmosphere, ultimately leaving mineral ash. The exothermic phases include flaming and smoldering, which produce the heat that drives the endothermic processes. The endothermic components include pre-heating and pyrolysis, which produce the fuel consumed by flaming and smoldering. These components can be broadly distinguished from each other based on temperature. For several years, we have researched the subpixel analysis of two temperature phases present in fire pixels detected in nighttime VIIRS data. Here, we present the flaming subtractive method, with which we have successfully derived temperatures and source areas for two infrared (IR) emitters and a cooler background. This is developed as an add-on to the existing VIIRS nightfire algorithm version 3 (VNF v.3) which uses Planck curve fitting to calculate temperatures and source areas for a single IR emitter and background. The flaming subtractive method works with data collected in four spectral ranges: near-infrared (NIR), short-wave infrared (SWIR), mid-wave infrared (MWIR) and long-wave infrared (LWIR). With sunlight eliminated, the NIR and SWIR radiances can be fully attributed to the primary IR emitter. The analysis begins with Planck curve modeling for the primary emitter based on the NIR and SWIR radiances, yielding temperature, source area and primary emitter radiances in all spectral bands. The primary emitter radiances are subtracted from each spectral band and then the residual radiance is analyzed for a secondary IR emitter and the background. Spurious results are obtained in pixels lacking a discernable secondary emitter. These misfit pixels revert back to the single IR emitter analysis of VNF v.3. In tests run for two California megafires, we found that the primary emitters straddle the temperature ranges for flaming and smoldering, the exothermic portions of biomass burning, which are apparently commingled on the ground. The secondary emitter temperatures span 350–750 K, corresponding to pre-heating and slow pyrolysis. The natural gas flare test case had few numbers of successful secondary emitter retrievals and a wide range of secondary emitter temperatures. The flaming subtractive analysis is the key addition to VNF version 4, which will commence production later in 2021. In 2022, we will seek validation of the VNF v.4 from nighttime Landsat and other data sources. Full article
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Article
Mapping Wetland Burned Area from Sentinel-2 across the Southeastern United States and Its Contributions Relative to Landsat-8 (2016–2019)
Fire 2021, 4(3), 52; https://doi.org/10.3390/fire4030052 - 25 Aug 2021
Cited by 8 | Viewed by 1575
Abstract
Prescribed fires and wildfires are common in wetland ecosystems across the Southeastern United States. However, the wetland burned area has been chronically underestimated across the region due to (1) spectral confusion between open water and burned area, (2) rapid post-fire vegetation regrowth, and [...] Read more.
Prescribed fires and wildfires are common in wetland ecosystems across the Southeastern United States. However, the wetland burned area has been chronically underestimated across the region due to (1) spectral confusion between open water and burned area, (2) rapid post-fire vegetation regrowth, and (3) high annual precipitation limiting clear-sky satellite observations. We developed a machine learning algorithm specifically for burned area in wetlands, and applied the algorithm to the Sentinel-2 archive (2016–2019) across the Southeastern US (>290,000 km2). Combining Landsat-8 imagery with Sentinel-2 increased the annual clear-sky observation count from 17 to 46 in 2016 and from 16 to 78 in 2019. When validated with WorldView imagery, the Sentinel-2 burned area had a 29% and 30% omission and commission rates of error for burned area, respectively, compared to the US Geological Survey Landsat-8 Burned Area Product (L8 BA), which had a 47% and 8% omission and commission rate of error, respectively. The Sentinel-2 algorithm and the L8 BA mapped burned area within 78% and 60% of wetland fire perimeters (n = 555) compiled from state and federal agencies, respectively. This analysis demonstrated the potential of Sentinel-2 to support efforts to track the burned area, especially across challenging ecosystem types, such as wetlands. Full article
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Article
Assessing Wildfire Regimes in Indigenous Lands of the Brazilian Savannah-Like Cerrado
Fire 2021, 4(3), 34; https://doi.org/10.3390/fire4030034 - 05 Jul 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1343
Abstract
The Brazilian savannah-like Cerrado is classified as a fire-dependent biome. Human activities have altered the fire regimes in the region, and as a result, not all fires have ecological benefits. The indigenous lands (ILs) of the Brazilian Cerrado have registered the recurrence of [...] Read more.
The Brazilian savannah-like Cerrado is classified as a fire-dependent biome. Human activities have altered the fire regimes in the region, and as a result, not all fires have ecological benefits. The indigenous lands (ILs) of the Brazilian Cerrado have registered the recurrence of forest fires. Thus, the diagnosis of these events is fundamental to understanding the burning regimes and their consequences. The main objective of this paper is to evaluate the fire regimes in Cerrado’s indigenous lands from 2008 to 2017. We used the Landsat time series, at 30 m spatial resolution, available in the Google Earth Engine platform to delineate the burned areas. We used precipitation data from a meteorological station to define the rainy season (RS), early dry season (EDS), middle dry season (MDS), and late dry season (LDS) periods. During 2008–2017, our results show that the total burned area in the indigenous lands and surrounding area was 2,289,562 hectares, distributed in 14,653 scars. Most fires took place between June and November, and the annual burned area was quite different in the years studied. It was also possible to identify areas with high fire recurrence. The fire regime patterns described here are the first step towards understanding the fire regimes in the region and establishing directions to improve management strategies and guide public policies. Full article
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