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Special Issue "Remote Sensing of Wildfire"

A special issue of Remote Sensing (ISSN 2072-4292).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 15 December 2018

Special Issue Editors

Guest Editor
Dr. Quazi K. Hassan

Department of Geomatics Engineering, Schulich School of Engineering, University of Calgary, 2500 University Dr. N.W., Calgary, AB T2N 1N4, Canada
Website | E-Mail
Phone: +1-403-210-9494
Interests: optical/thermal remote sensing in: (i) forecasting and monitoring of natural hazards/disasters, such as forest fire, drought, and flooding; (ii) comprehending the dynamics of natural resources, such as forestry, agriculture, and water; and (iii) modelling issues related to boreal environment
Guest Editor
Dr. George Petropoulos

Department of Soil & Water Resources, Institute of Industrial & Forage Crops, Hellenic Agricultural Organization “Demeter” (former NAGREF), Theforastou, 1, 41335, Larissa, Greece
Website | E-Mail
Interests: earth observation; modeling; land surface interactions; soil moisture; evapotrasnpiration; land use/cover mapping & change detection; natural hazards; floods; wildfires; sensitivity analysis; soil vegetation atmosphere transfer modeling; operational products benchmarking

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Wildfires (which include forest fires, grass fires, brush fires, bush fires, and peat fires, among others) are an integral part of so many ecosystems across the world. In general, these fires are primarily viewed negatively despite their favorable contributions. Here, the purpose is to gather scientists/researchers related to this topic, aiming to highlight ongoing research investigations and new applications in the field. In this framework, the editors of this Special Issue would like to invite both applied and theoretical research contributions; submissions of original works furthering knowledge concerned with any aspect of the use of remote sensing in wildfires. Note that these manuscripts must be, not only unpublished, but also not under consideration for potential publication elsewhere. In addition, the manuscripts must employ one of the following remote sensing data types: Optical, thermal, hyperspectral, active and passive microwave acquired by either airborne or spaceborne remote sensing platforms, dealing with wildfires. The topics of interest include, but not limited to:

  • Comprehending of the pre-fire conditions,

  • Forecasting of wildfire danger/risk,

  • Modelling of wildfire behavior,

  • Fighting the wildfire,

  • Modelling prescribed burning,

  • Relation between vegetation phenology and fire,

  • Monitoring of the vegetation recovery following the fire events,

  • Mapping of burn area and ecological impacts,

  • Modelling of smoke propagation, and

  • Analyzing of historical fire regimes, among others.

Dr. Quazi K. Hassan
Dr. George P. Petropoulos
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 papers will be 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. Remote Sensing is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly 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 1800 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.

Published Papers (11 papers)

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Research

Open AccessArticle Near Real-Time Extracting Wildfire Spread Rate from Himawari-8 Satellite Data
Remote Sens. 2018, 10(10), 1654; https://doi.org/10.3390/rs10101654
Received: 5 September 2018 / Revised: 6 October 2018 / Accepted: 13 October 2018 / Published: 17 October 2018
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Abstract
Fire Spread Rate (FSR) can indicate how fast a fire is spreading, which is especially helpful for wildfire rescue and management. Historically, images obtained from sun-orbiting satellites such as Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) were used to detect active fire and burned area
[...] Read more.
Fire Spread Rate (FSR) can indicate how fast a fire is spreading, which is especially helpful for wildfire rescue and management. Historically, images obtained from sun-orbiting satellites such as Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) were used to detect active fire and burned area at the large spatial scale. However, the daily revisit cycles make them inherently unable to extract FSR in near real­-time (hourly or less). We argue that the Himawari-8, a next generation geostationary satellite with a 10-min temporal resolution and 0.5–2 km spatial resolution, may have the potential for near real-time FSR extraction. To that end, we propose a novel method (named H8-FSR) for near real-time FSR extraction based on the Himawari-8 data. The method first defines the centroid of the burned area as the fire center and then the near real-time FSR is extracted by timely computing the movement rate of the fire center. As a case study, the method was applied to the Esperance bushfire that broke out on 17 November, 2015, in Western Australia. Compared with the estimated FSR using the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization (CSIRO) Grassland Fire Spread (GFS) model, H8-FSR achieved favorable performance with a coefficient of determination (R2) of 0.54, mean bias error of –0.75 m/s, mean absolute percent error of 33.20% and root mean square error of 1.17 m/s, respectively. These results demonstrated that the Himawari-8 data are valuable for near real-time FSR extraction, and also suggested that the proposed method could be potentially applicable to other next generation geostationary satellite data. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Remote Sensing of Wildfire)
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Open AccessArticle Potential of Sentinel-2A Data to Model Surface and Canopy Fuel Characteristics in Relation to Crown Fire Hazard
Remote Sens. 2018, 10(10), 1645; https://doi.org/10.3390/rs10101645
Received: 12 September 2018 / Revised: 12 October 2018 / Accepted: 14 October 2018 / Published: 16 October 2018
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Abstract
Background: Crown fires are often intense and fast spreading and hence can have serious impacts on soil, vegetation, and wildlife habitats. Fire managers try to prevent the initiation and spread of crown fires in forested landscapes through fuel management. The minimum fuel conditions
[...] Read more.
Background: Crown fires are often intense and fast spreading and hence can have serious impacts on soil, vegetation, and wildlife habitats. Fire managers try to prevent the initiation and spread of crown fires in forested landscapes through fuel management. The minimum fuel conditions necessary to initiate and propagate crown fires are known to be strongly influenced by four stand structural variables: surface fuel load (SFL), fuel strata gap (FSG), canopy base height (CBH), and canopy bulk density (CBD). However, there is often a lack of quantitative data about these variables, especially at the landscape scale. Methods: In this study, data from 123 sample plots established in pure, even-aged, Pinus radiata and Pinus pinaster stands in northwest Spain were analyzed. In each plot, an intensive field inventory was used to characterize surface and canopy fuels load and structure, and to estimate SFL, FSG, CBH, and CBD. Equations relating these variables to Sentinel-2A (S-2A) bands and vegetation indices were obtained using two non-parametric techniques: Random Forest (RF) and Multivariate Adaptive Regression Splines (MARS). Results: According to the goodness-of-fit statistics, RF models provided the most accurate estimates, explaining more than 12%, 37%, 47%, and 31% of the observed variability in SFL, FSG, CBH, and CBD, respectively. To evaluate the performance of the four equations considered, the observed and estimated values of the four fuel variables were used separately to predict the potential type of wildfire (surface fire, passive crown fire, or active crown fire) for each plot, considering three different burning conditions (low, moderate, and extreme). The results of the confusion matrix indicated that 79.8% of the surface fires and 93.1% of the active crown fires were correctly classified; meanwhile, the highest rate of misclassification was observed for passive crown fire, with 75.6% of the samples correctly classified. Conclusions: The results highlight that the combination of medium resolution imagery and machine learning techniques may add valuable information about surface and canopy fuel variables at large scales, whereby crown fire potential and the potential type of wildfire can be classified. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Remote Sensing of Wildfire)
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Open AccessArticle Economic Assessment of Fire Damage to Urban Forest in the Wildland–Urban Interface Using Planet Satellites Constellation Images
Remote Sens. 2018, 10(9), 1479; https://doi.org/10.3390/rs10091479
Received: 15 August 2018 / Revised: 12 September 2018 / Accepted: 14 September 2018 / Published: 16 September 2018
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Abstract
The wildland-urban interface (WUI)—the area where wildland vegetation and urban buildings intermix—is at a greater risk of fire occurrence because of extensive human activity in that area. Although satellite remote sensing has become a major tool for assessing fire damage in wildlands, it
[...] Read more.
The wildland-urban interface (WUI)—the area where wildland vegetation and urban buildings intermix—is at a greater risk of fire occurrence because of extensive human activity in that area. Although satellite remote sensing has become a major tool for assessing fire damage in wildlands, it is unsuitable for WUI fire monitoring due to the low spatial resolution of the images from satellites that provide frequent information which is relevant for timely fire monitoring in WUI. Here, we take advantage of frequent (i.e., ca. daily), high-spatial-resolution (3 m) imagery acquired from a constellation of nano-satellites operated by Planet Labs (“Planet”) to assess fire damage to urban trees in the WUI of a Mediterranean city in Israel (Haifa). The fire occurred at the end of 2016, consuming ca. 17,000 of the trees (152 trees ha−1) within the near-by wildland and urban parts of the city. Three vegetation indices (GNDVI, NDVI and GCC) from Planet satellite images were used to derive a burn severity map for the WUI area after applying a subpixel discrimination method to distinguish between woody and herbaceous vegetation. The produced burn severity map was successfully validated with information acquired from an extensive field survey in the WUI burnt area (overall accuracy and kappa: 87% and 0.75, respectively). Planet’s vegetation indices were calibrated using in-field tree measurements to obtain high spatial resolution maps of burned trees and consumed woody biomass in the WUI. These were used in conjunction with an ecosystem services valuation model (i-Tree) to estimate spatially-distributed and total economic loss due to damage to urban trees caused by the fire. Results show that nearly half of the urban trees were moderately and severely burned (26% and 22%, respectively). The total damage to the urban forest was estimated at ca. 41 ± 10 M USD. We conclude that using the method developed in this study with high-spatial-resolution Planet images has a great potential for WUI fire economic assessment. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Remote Sensing of Wildfire)
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Open AccessArticle Remote Sensing Approach to Detect Burn Severity Risk Zones in Palo Verde National Park, Costa Rica
Remote Sens. 2018, 10(9), 1427; https://doi.org/10.3390/rs10091427
Received: 26 July 2018 / Revised: 30 August 2018 / Accepted: 4 September 2018 / Published: 7 September 2018
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Abstract
This study develops a site specific burn severity modelling using remote sensing techniques to develop severity patterns on vegetation and soil in the fire prone region of the Palo Verde National Park in Guanacaste, Costa Rica. Terrain physical features, soil cover, and scorched
[...] Read more.
This study develops a site specific burn severity modelling using remote sensing techniques to develop severity patterns on vegetation and soil in the fire prone region of the Palo Verde National Park in Guanacaste, Costa Rica. Terrain physical features, soil cover, and scorched vegetation characteristics were examined to develop a fire risk model and to quantify probable burned areas. Spectral signatures of affected areas were captured through multi-spectral analysis; i.e., Normalized Burn Ratio (NBR), Landsat derived differenced Normalized Burn Ratio (dNBR) and relativized dNBR (RdNBR). A partial unmixing algorithm, Mixture Tuned Matched Filtering (MTMF) was used to isolate endmembers for scorched vegetation and soil. The performance of dNBR and RdNBR for predicting ground cover components was acceptable with an overall accuracy of 84.4% and Cohen’s Kappa 0.82 for dNBR and an overall accuracy of 89.4% and Cohen’s Kappa 0.82 for RdNBR. Landsat derived RdNBR showed a strong correlation with scorched vegetation (r2 = 0.76) and moderate correlation with soil cover (r2 = 0.53), which outperformed dNBR. The ecologically diverse and unique park area is threatened by wetland fires, which pose a potential threat to various species. Human induced fires by poachers are a common occurrence in such areas to gain access to these species. This paper aims to prioritize areas that are at a higher risk from fire and model spatial adaptations in relation to the direction of fire within the affected wetlands. This assessment will help wildlife personnel in managing disturbed wetland ecosystems. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Remote Sensing of Wildfire)
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Open AccessArticle Post-Fire Vegetation Succession and Surface Energy Fluxes Derived from Remote Sensing
Remote Sens. 2018, 10(7), 1000; https://doi.org/10.3390/rs10071000
Received: 26 May 2018 / Revised: 15 June 2018 / Accepted: 19 June 2018 / Published: 23 June 2018
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Abstract
The increasing frequency of fires inhibits the estimation of carbon reserves in boreal forest ecosystems because fires release significant amounts of carbon into the atmosphere through combustion. However, less is known regarding the effects of vegetation succession processes on ecosystem C-flux that follow
[...] Read more.
The increasing frequency of fires inhibits the estimation of carbon reserves in boreal forest ecosystems because fires release significant amounts of carbon into the atmosphere through combustion. However, less is known regarding the effects of vegetation succession processes on ecosystem C-flux that follow fires. This paper describes intra- and inter-annual vegetation restoration trajectories via MODIS time-series and Landsat data. The temporal and spatial characteristics of the natural succession were analyzed from 2000 to 2016. Finally, we regressed post-fire MODIS EVI, LST and LSWI values onto GPP and NPP values to identify the main limiting factors during post-fire carbon exchange. The results show immediate variations after the fire event, with EVI and LSWI decreasing by 0.21 and 0.31, respectively, and the LST increasing to 6.89 °C. After this initial variation, subsequent fire-induced variations were significantly smaller; instead, seasonality began governing the change characteristics. The greatest differences in EVI, LST and LSWI were observed in August and September compared to those in other months (0.29, 6.9 and 0.35, respectively), including July, which was the second month after the fire. We estimated the mean EVI recovery periods under different fire intensities (approximately 10, 12 and 16 years): the LST recovery time is one year earlier than that of the EVI. GPP and NPP decreased after the fire by 22–45 g C·m−2·month−1 (30–80%) and 0.13–0.35 kg C·m−2·year−1 (20–60%), respectively. Excluding the winter period, when no photosynthesis occurred, the correlation between the EVI and GPP was the strongest, and the correlation coefficient varied with the burn intensity. When changes in EVI, LST and LSWI after the fire in the boreal forest were more significant, the severity of the fire determined the magnitude of the changes, and the seasonality aggravated these changes. On the other hand, the seasonality is another important factor that affects vegetation restoration and land-surface energy fluxes in boreal forests. The strong correlations between EVI and GPP/NPP reveal that the C-flux can be simply and directly estimated on a per-pixel basis from EVI data, which can be used to accurately estimate land-surface energy fluxes during vegetation restoration and reduce uncertainties in the estimation of forests’ carbon reserves. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Remote Sensing of Wildfire)
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Open AccessFeature PaperEditor’s ChoiceArticle Intercomparison of MODIS AQUA and VIIRS I-Band Fires and Emissions in an Agricultural Landscape—Implications for Air Pollution Research
Remote Sens. 2018, 10(7), 978; https://doi.org/10.3390/rs10070978
Received: 16 May 2018 / Revised: 18 June 2018 / Accepted: 19 June 2018 / Published: 21 June 2018
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Abstract
Quantifying emissions from crop residue burning is crucial as it is a significant source of air pollution. In this study, we first compared the fire products from two different sensors, the Visible Infrared Imaging Radiometer Suite (VIIRS) 375 m active fire product (VNP14IMG)
[...] Read more.
Quantifying emissions from crop residue burning is crucial as it is a significant source of air pollution. In this study, we first compared the fire products from two different sensors, the Visible Infrared Imaging Radiometer Suite (VIIRS) 375 m active fire product (VNP14IMG) and Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) 1 km fire product (MCD14ML) in an agricultural landscape, Punjab, India. We then performed an intercomparison of three different approaches for estimating total particulate matter (TPM) emissions which includes the fire radiative power (FRP) based approach using VIIRS and MODIS data, the Global Fire Emissions Database (GFED) burnt area emissions and a bottom-up emissions approach involving agricultural census data. Results revealed that VIIRS detected fires were higher by a factor of 4.8 compared to MODIS Aqua and Terra sensors. Further, VIIRS detected fires were higher by a factor of 6.5 than Aqua. The mean monthly MODIS Aqua FRP was found to be higher than the VIIRS FRP; however, the sum of FRP from VIIRS was higher than MODIS data due to the large number of fires detected by the VIIRS. Besides, the VIIRS sum of FRP was 2.5 times more than the MODIS sum of FRP. MODIS and VIIRS monthly FRP data were found to be strongly correlated (r2 = 0.98). The bottom-up approach suggested TPM emissions in the range of 88.19–91.19 Gg compared to 42.0–61.71 Gg, 42.59–58.75 Gg and 93.98–111.72 Gg using the GFED, MODIS FRP, and VIIRS FRP based approaches, respectively. Of the different approaches, VIIRS FRP TPM emissions were highest. Since VIIRS data are only available since 2012 compared to MODIS Aqua data which have been available since May 2002, a prediction model combining MODIS and VIIRS FRP was derived to obtain potential TPM emissions from 2003–2016. The results suggested a range of 2.56–63.66 (Gg) TPM emissions per month, with the highest crop residue emissions during November of each year. Our results on TPM emissions for seasonality matched the ground-based data from the literature. As a mitigation option, stringent policy measures are recommended to curtail agricultural residue burning in the study area. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Remote Sensing of Wildfire)
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Open AccessFeature PaperArticle An Advanced Forest Fire Danger Forecasting System: Integration of Remote Sensing and Historical Sources of Ignition Data
Remote Sens. 2018, 10(6), 923; https://doi.org/10.3390/rs10060923
Received: 20 May 2018 / Revised: 2 June 2018 / Accepted: 11 June 2018 / Published: 12 June 2018
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Abstract
Forest fire is one of the major natural hazards/disasters in Canada and many ecosystems across the world. Here, our objective was to enhance the performance of an existing solely remote sensing-based forest fire danger forecasting system (FFDFS), and its implementation over the northern
[...] Read more.
Forest fire is one of the major natural hazards/disasters in Canada and many ecosystems across the world. Here, our objective was to enhance the performance of an existing solely remote sensing-based forest fire danger forecasting system (FFDFS), and its implementation over the northern region of the Canadian province of Alberta. The modified FFDFS was comprised of Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS)-derived daily surface temperature (Ts) and precipitable water (PW), and 8-day composite of normalized difference vegetation index (NDVI) and normalized difference water index (NDWI), where we assumed that cloud-contaminant pixels would reduce the risk of fire occurrences. In addition, we generated ignition cause-specific static fire danger (SFD) maps derived using the historical human- and lightning-caused fires during the period 1961–2014. Upon incorporating different combinations of the generated SFD maps with the modified FFDFS, we evaluated their performances against actual fire spots during the 2009–2011 fire seasons. Our findings revealed that our proposed modifications were quite effective and the modified FFDFS captured almost the same amount of fires as the original FFDFS, i.e., about 77% of the detected fires on an average in the top three fire danger classes of extremely high, very high, and high categories, where about 50% of the study area fell under low and moderate danger classes. Additionally, we observed that the combination of modified FFDFS and human-caused SFD map (road buffer) demonstrated the most effective results in fire detection, i.e., 82% of detected fires on an average in the top three fire danger classes, where about 46% of the study area fell under the moderate and low danger categories. We believe that our developments would be helpful to manage the forest fire in order to reduce its overall impact. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Remote Sensing of Wildfire)
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Open AccessArticle Evaluation of a Bayesian Algorithm to Detect Burned Areas in the Canary Islands’ Dry Woodlands and Forests Ecoregion Using MODIS Data
Remote Sens. 2018, 10(5), 789; https://doi.org/10.3390/rs10050789
Received: 11 April 2018 / Revised: 14 May 2018 / Accepted: 17 May 2018 / Published: 19 May 2018
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Abstract
Burned Area (BA) is deemed as a primary variable to understand the Earth’s climate system. Satellite remote sensing data have allowed for the development of various burned area detection algorithms that have been globally applied to and assessed in diverse ecosystems, ranging from
[...] Read more.
Burned Area (BA) is deemed as a primary variable to understand the Earth’s climate system. Satellite remote sensing data have allowed for the development of various burned area detection algorithms that have been globally applied to and assessed in diverse ecosystems, ranging from tropical to boreal. In this paper, we present a Bayesian algorithm (BY-MODIS) that detects burned areas in a time series of Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) images from 2002 to 2012 of the Canary Islands’ dry woodlands and forests ecoregion (Spain). Based on daily image products MODIS, MOD09GQ (250 m), and MOD11A1 (1 km), the surface spectral reflectance and the land surface temperature, respectively, 10 day composites were built using the maximum temperature criterion. Variables used in BY-MODIS were the Global Environment Monitoring Index (GEMI) and Burn Boreal Forest Index (BBFI), alongside the NIR spectral band, all of which refer to the previous year and the year the fire took place in. Reference polygons for the 14 fires exceeding 100 hectares and identified within the period under analysis were developed using both post-fire LANDSAT images and official information from the forest fires national database by the Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries, Food and Environment of Spain (MAPAMA). The results obtained by BY-MODIS can be compared to those by official burned area products, MCD45A1 and MCD64A1. Despite that the best overall results correspond to MCD64A1, BY-MODIS proved to be an alternative for burned area mapping in the Canary Islands, a region with a great topographic complexity and diverse types of ecosystems. The total burned area detected by the BY-MODIS classifier was 64.9% of the MAPAMA reference data, and 78.6% according to data obtained from the LANDSAT images, with the lowest average commission error (11%) out of the three products and a correlation (R2) of 0.82. The Bayesian algorithm—originally developed to detect burned areas in North American boreal forests using AVHRR archival data Long-Term Data Record—can be successfully applied to a lower latitude forest ecosystem totally different from the boreal ecosystem and using daily time series of satellite images from MODIS with a 250 m spatial resolution, as long as a set of training areas adequately characterising the dynamics of the forest canopy affected by the fire is defined. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Remote Sensing of Wildfire)
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Open AccessArticle Geostationary Sensor Based Forest Fire Detection and Monitoring: An Improved Version of the SFIDE Algorithm
Remote Sens. 2018, 10(5), 741; https://doi.org/10.3390/rs10050741
Received: 18 April 2018 / Revised: 2 May 2018 / Accepted: 7 May 2018 / Published: 11 May 2018
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Abstract
The paper aims to present the results obtained in the development of a system allowing for the detection and monitoring of forest fires and the continuous comparison of their intensity when several events occur simultaneously—a common occurrence in European Mediterranean countries during the
[...] Read more.
The paper aims to present the results obtained in the development of a system allowing for the detection and monitoring of forest fires and the continuous comparison of their intensity when several events occur simultaneously—a common occurrence in European Mediterranean countries during the summer season. The system, called SFIDE (Satellite FIre DEtection), exploits a geostationary satellite sensor (SEVIRI, Spinning Enhanced Visible and InfraRed Imager, on board of MSG, Meteosat Second Generation, satellite series). The algorithm was developed several years ago in the framework of a project (SIGRI) funded by the Italian Space Agency (ASI). This algorithm has been completely reviewed in order to enhance its efficiency by reducing false alarms rate preserving a high sensitivity. Due to the very low spatial resolution of SEVIRI images (4 × 4 km2 at Mediterranean latitude) the sensitivity of the algorithm should be very high to detect even small fires. The improvement of the algorithm has been obtained by: introducing the sun elevation angle in the computation of the preliminary thresholds to identify potential thermal anomalies (hot spots), introducing a contextual analysis in the detection of clouds and in the detection of night-time fires. The results of the algorithm have been validated in the Sardinia region by using ground true data provided by the regional Corpo Forestale e di Vigilanza Ambientale (CFVA). A significant reduction of the commission error (less than 10%) has been obtained with respect to the previous version of the algorithm and also with respect to fire-detection algorithms based on low earth orbit satellites. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Remote Sensing of Wildfire)
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Open AccessArticle Burned Area Mapping of an Escaped Fire into Tropical Dry Forest in Western Madagascar Using Multi-Season Landsat OLI Data
Remote Sens. 2018, 10(3), 371; https://doi.org/10.3390/rs10030371
Received: 27 December 2017 / Revised: 12 February 2018 / Accepted: 20 February 2018 / Published: 27 February 2018
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Abstract
A human-induced fire cleared a large area of tropical dry forest near the Ankoatsifaka Research Station at Kirindy Mitea National Park in western Madagascar over several weeks in 2013. Fire is a major factor in the disturbance and loss of global tropical dry
[...] Read more.
A human-induced fire cleared a large area of tropical dry forest near the Ankoatsifaka Research Station at Kirindy Mitea National Park in western Madagascar over several weeks in 2013. Fire is a major factor in the disturbance and loss of global tropical dry forests, yet remotely sensed mapping studies of fire-impacted tropical dry forests lag behind fire research of other forest types. Methods used to map burns in temperature forests may not perform as well in tropical dry forests where it can be difficult to distinguish between multiple-age burn scars and between bare soil and burns. In this study, the extent of forest lost to stand-replacing fire in Kirindy Mitea National Park was quantified using both spectral and textural information derived from multi-date satellite imagery. The total area of the burn was 18,034 ha. It is estimated that 6% (4761 ha) of the Park’s primary tropical dry forest burned over the period 23 June to 27 September. Half of the forest burned (2333 ha) was lost in the large conflagration adjacent to the Research Station. The best model for burn scar mapping in this highly-seasonal tropical forest and pastoral landscape included the differenced Normalized Burn Ratio (dNBR) and both uni- and multi-temporal measures of greenness. Lessons for burn mapping of tropical dry forest are much the same as for tropical dry forest mapping—highly seasonal vegetation combined with a mixture of background spectral information make for a complicated analysis and may require multi-temporal imagery and site specific techniques. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Remote Sensing of Wildfire)
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Open AccessArticle A Simple Normalized Difference Approach to Burnt Area Mapping Using Multi-Polarisation C-Band SAR
Remote Sens. 2017, 9(8), 764; https://doi.org/10.3390/rs9080764
Received: 12 June 2017 / Revised: 7 July 2017 / Accepted: 19 July 2017 / Published: 31 July 2017
Cited by 4 | PDF Full-text (9532 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
In fire-prone ecosystems, periodic fires are vital for ecosystem functioning. Fire managers seek to promote the optimal fire regime by managing fire season and frequency requiring detailed information on the extent and date of previous burns. This paper investigates a Normalised Difference α-Angle
[...] Read more.
In fire-prone ecosystems, periodic fires are vital for ecosystem functioning. Fire managers seek to promote the optimal fire regime by managing fire season and frequency requiring detailed information on the extent and date of previous burns. This paper investigates a Normalised Difference α-Angle (NDαI) approach to burn-scar mapping using C-band data. Polarimetric decompositions are used to derive α-angles from pre-burn and post-burn scenes and NDαI is calculated to identify decreases in vegetation between the scenes. The technique was tested in an area affected by a wildfire in January 2016 in the Western Cape, South Africa. The quad-pol H-A-α decomposition was applied to RADARSAT-2 data and the dual-pol H-α decomposition was applied to Sentinel-1A data. The NDαI results were compared to a burn scar extracted from Sentinel-2A data. High overall accuracies of 97.4% (Kappa = 0.72) and 94.8% (Kappa = 0.57) were obtained for RADARSAT-2 and Sentinel-1A, respectively. However, large omission errors were found and correlated strongly with areas of high local incidence angle for both datasets. The combined use of data from different orbits will likely reduce these errors. Furthermore, commission errors were observed, most notably on Sentinel-1A results. These errors may be due to the inability of the dual-pol H-α decomposition to effectively distinguish between scattering mechanisms. Despite these errors, the results revealed that burnt areas could be extracted and were in good agreement with the results from Sentinel-2A. Therefore, the approach can be considered in areas where persistent cloud cover or smoke prevents the extraction of burnt area information using conventional multispectral approaches. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Remote Sensing of Wildfire)
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