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Sample records for mapping wildfire burned

  1. Mapping wildfire burn severity in the Arctic Tundra from downsampled MODIS data

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Kolden, Crystal A.; Rogan, John

    2013-01-01

    Wildfires are historically infrequent in the arctic tundra, but are projected to increase with climate warming. Fire effects on tundra ecosystems are poorly understood and difficult to quantify in a remote region where a short growing season severely limits ground data collection. Remote sensing has been widely utilized to characterize wildfire regimes, but primarily from the Landsat sensor, which has limited data acquisition in the Arctic. Here, coarse-resolution remotely sensed data are assessed as a means to quantify wildfire burn severity of the 2007 Anaktuvuk River Fire in Alaska, the largest tundra wildfire ever recorded on Alaska's North Slope. Data from Landsat Thematic Mapper (TM) and downsampled Moderate-resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) were processed to spectral indices and correlated to observed metrics of surface, subsurface, and comprehensive burn severity. Spectral indices were strongly correlated to surface severity (maximum R2 = 0.88) and slightly less strongly correlated to substrate severity. Downsampled MODIS data showed a decrease in severity one year post-fire, corroborating rapid vegetation regeneration observed on the burned site. These results indicate that widely-used spectral indices and downsampled coarse-resolution data provide a reasonable supplement to often-limited ground data collection for analysis and long-term monitoring of wildfire effects in arctic ecosystems.

  2. Using NASA EOS to Assess Burn Severity and Perform Fire Risk Mapping of the 2011 North Carolina Wildfire Season

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gleason, J. L.; Ehlen, A.

    2012-12-01

    Since the beginning of 2011 North Carolina has experienced dry conditions and high winds, which has increased the fuel load on the ground. This extreme weather led to several periods of severe wildfires which burned nearly 100,000 acres, caused significant damage to the Coastal Plains region's ecosystem, and greatly affected the livelihoods of many North Carolinians. Utilizing NASA's Earth Observing Systems (EOS), burn severity, real-time drought severity, and fire- risk mapping were conducted on the two largest fires in North Carolina during the 2011 wildfire season, the Pains Bay Fire in Dare County and the Juniper Road Fire in Pender County. In order to show the impact of fires on the ecosystem and the extent of ecological change the fires caused, burn severity maps were created using Landsat 5 TM and the Relative difference Normalized Burn Ratio (RdNBR). To assess drought conditions, the Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI) and Normalized Difference Moisture Index (NDMI) were derived from Landsat 5TM data to show changes in vegetation cover and moisture. In addition, MODIS Daily Surface Reflectance product (MOD09GA/MYD09GA) with the Normalized Multi-band Drought Index (NMDI) was utilized to estimate real-time drought severity of vegetation and soil moisture. Finally, Landsat 5 TM and various ancillary sources were used to create a fire risk map utilizing a Multi-criteria Evaluation (MCE) method with the new Fuzzification method in ArcGIS. Multiple variables were inserted into the MCE including soil survey data, Normalized Difference Moisture Index (NDMI), slope data obtained from ASTER Global DEM, land cover/fuel data, and proximity to roads. Methodologies using NASA EOS to acquire all end products were provided to project partners, the Alligator River National Wildlife Refuge (ARNWR) and the North Carolina Forest Service (NCFS), in the form of a user tutorial to allow for a better understanding of how remote sensing can be applied to analyze wildfires

  3. Wildfires, smoke, and burn scars, near Yakutsk, Russia

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    2002-01-01

    The Lena River in central Siberia is hidden beneath a veil of smoke from multiple wildfires burning around the city of Yakutsk, Russia. Fires have been burning in the region off and on since late May 2002, and may be agricultural in cause. This image was acquired by the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on the Terra satellite on July 23, 2002. In the false=-color image, vegetation is bright green, smoke is blueish-white, and burned areas are reddish-brown. In both images, fire detections are marked with red outlines. Credit: Jacques Descloitres, MODIS Land Rapid Response Team, NASA/GSFC

  4. NASA's MISR Instrument Sees Arizona Wildfires Burn

    NASA Video Gallery

    This animation from NASA’s Multi-angle Imaging SpectroRadiometer (MISR) instrument on the Terra spacecraft show the Wallow and Horseshoe 2 Fires burning in Arizona mid-morning (local time) on Jun...

  5. The Effect of Prescribed Burns and Wildfire on Vegetation in Bastrop State Park, TX

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Justice, C. J.

    2014-12-01

    In 2011, central Texas had its worst drought since the 1950's. This, in conjunction with the strong winds produced by Tropical Storm Lee created conditions that made possible the Bastrop County Complex Fire in September 2011. These record-breaking wildfires burned over 95% of the 6,565-acre Bastrop State Park (BSP). Since 2003, BSP had been using prescribed burns as a management practice to reduce fuel load and prevent high severity wildfires. Although these prescribed fires did not prevent the 2011 wildfires they may have mitigated their effects. This study considered the effect of prescribed burn history and wildfire burn severity on vegetation recovery in BSP since the 2011 wildfire. The hypotheses of this study are that prescribed burn history and wildfire burn severity separately and jointly have affected post wildfire vegetation. To test these hypotheses, data were collected in 2013 from 46 plots across BSP using the Fire Effects Monitoring and Inventory (FIREMON) protocol to determine herbaceous plant density, shrub density, overstory density, and midstory tree density. Data were analyzed using analyses of variance (ANOVA) to determine the effects of prescribed fire and wildfire severity on these vegetation measurements. It was found that more severely burned plots had more herbaceous plants, fewer midstory trees, and lower shrub densities than less severely burned plots. Contrary to an initial hypotheses, there were few relationships between prescribed burn history and wildfire effects. The only significant effect detected for prescribed burning was the positive effect of prescribed fire on midstory tree density, but only for plots that were not severely burned in the wildfire. In this system, burn severity had a greater effect on post-wildfire vegetation than prescribed burns.

  6. Mapping Wildfires In Nearly Real Time

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Nichols, Joseph D.; Parks, Gary S.; Denning, Richard F.; Ibbott, Anthony C.; Scott, Kenneth C.; Sleigh, William J.; Voss, Jeffrey M.

    1993-01-01

    Airborne infrared-sensing system flies over wildfire as infrared detector in system and navigation subsystem generate data transmitted to firefighters' camp. There, data plotted in form of map of fire, including approximate variations of temperature. System, called Firefly, reveals position of fires and approximate thermal intensities of regions within fires. Firefighters use information to manage and suppress fires. Used for other purposes with minor modifications, such as to spot losses of heat in urban areas and to map disease and pest infestation in vegetation.

  7. Linking runoff response to burn severity after a wildfire

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Moody, J.A.; Martin, D.A.; Haire, S.L.; Kinner, D.A.

    2008-01-01

    Extreme floods often follow wildfire in mountainous watersheds. However, a quantitative relation between the runoff response and burn severity at the watershed scale has not been established. Runoff response was measured as the runoff coefficient C, which is equal to the peak discharge per unit drainage area divided by the average maximum 30 min rainfall intensity during each rain storm. The magnitude of the bum severity was expressed as the change in the normalized burn ratio. A new burn severity variable, hydraulic functional connectivity ?? was developed and incorporates both the magnitude of the burn severity and the spatial sequence of the bum severity along hillslope flow paths. The runoff response and the burn severity were measured in seven subwatersheds (0.24 to 0.85 km2) in the upper part of Rendija Canyon burned by the 2000 Cerro Grande Fire Dear Los Alamos, New Mexico, USA. A rainfall-discharge relation was determined for four of the subwatersheds with nearly the same bum severity. The peak discharge per unit drainage area Qupeak was a linear function of the maximum 30 min rainfall intensity I30. This function predicted a rainfall intensity threshold of 8.5 mm h-1 below which no runoff was generated. The runoff coefficient C = Qupeak/I30 was a linear function of the mean hydraulic functional connectivity of the subwatersheds. Moreover, the variability of the mean hydraulic functional connectivity was related to the variability of the mean runoff coefficient, and this relation provides physical insight into why the runoff response from the same subwatershed can vary for different rainstorms with the same rainfall intensity. Published in 2007 by John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

  8. The GOES Wildfire Automated Biomass Burning Algorithm Processing System

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Schmidt, C. C.; Prins, E. M.; Feltz, J.

    2002-05-01

    The need to systematically generate reliable diurnal information on biomass burning in near real-time led to the development of the Wildfire Automated Biomass Burning Algorithm (WF_ABBA) processing system at the University of Wisconsin-Madison Cooperative Institute for Meteorological Satellite Studies (CIMSS). This presentation will include an overview of the WF_ABBA processing system and applications in various biomes of the Western Hemisphere. The WF_ABBA produces fire products from the Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellites (GOES) on a half-hourly basis for all land surfaces in view of GOES-8 and North America for GOES-10. Generally available within one hour of the nominal image time, the WF_ABBA provides information on fire location, fire classification flags, and estimates of fire sizes and temperatures. Fire products including data files and composite imagery are made available to the user community via anonymous ftp and the World Wide Web. WF_ABBA composite images are generated using a modified alpha-blending technique that merges GOES visible and infrared observations of cloud cover with the WF_ABBA fire product and a land cover characterization database derived from 1-km Advanced Very High Resolution Radiometer (AVHRR) data. Animations of the resulting product enable users to monitor diurnal changes in fire activity along with information describing the land characteristics and variations in cloud cover. The high temporal resolution, large areal coverage, ability to process archived GOES data, and high reliability available from the WF_ABBA processing system allow for fire monitoring and dissemination of data products to the user community on an unprecedented scale. Users include climate change research scientists, the aerosol and trace gas transport modeling community, government agencies, resource managers, fire managers, international policy and decision makers, and the general public.

  9. Geostationary Fire Detection with the Wildfire Automated Biomass Burning Algorithm

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hoffman, J.; Schmidt, C. C.; Brunner, J. C.; Prins, E. M.

    2010-12-01

    The Wild Fire Automated Biomass Burning Algorithm (WF_ABBA), developed at the Cooperative Institute for Meteorological Satellite Studies (CIMSS), has a long legacy of operational wildfire detection and characterization. In recent years, applications of geostationary fire detection and characterization data have been expanding. Fires are detected with a contextual algorithm and when the fires meet certain conditions the instantaneous fire size, temperature, and radiative power are calculated and provided in user products. The WF_ABBA has been applied to data from Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellite (GOES)-8 through 15, Meteosat-8/-9, and Multifunction Transport Satellite (MTSAT)-1R/-2. WF_ABBA is also being developed for the upcoming platforms like GOES-R Advanced Baseline Imager (ABI) and other geostationary satellites. Development of the WF_ABBA for GOES-R ABI has focused on adapting the legacy algorithm to the new satellite system, enhancing its capabilities to take advantage of the improvements available from ABI, and addressing user needs. By its nature as a subpixel feature, observation of fire is extraordinarily sensitive to the characteristics of the sensor and this has been a fundamental part of the GOES-R WF_ABBA development work.

  10. Visualizing Global Wildfire Automated Biomass Burning Algorithm Data

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Schmidt, C. C.; Hoffman, J.; Prins, E. M.

    2013-12-01

    The Wildfire Automated Biomass Burning Algorithm (WFABBA) produces fire detection and characterization from a global constellation of geostationary satellites on a realtime basis. Presentation of this data in a timely and meaningful way has been a challenge, but as hardware and software have advanced and web tools have evolved, new options have rapidly arisen. The WFABBA team at the Cooperative Institute for Meteorological Satellite Studies (CIMSS) at the Space Science Engineering Center (SSEC) have begun implementation of a web-based framework that allows a user to visualize current and archived fire data from NOAA's Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellite (GOES), EUMETSAT's Meteosat Second Generation (MSG), JMA's Multifunction Transport Satellite (MTSAT), and KMA's COMS series of satellites. User group needs vary from simple examination of the most recent data to multi-hour composites to animations, as well as saving datasets for further review. In order to maximize the usefulness of the data, a user-friendly and scaleable interface has been under development that will, when complete, allow access to approximately 18 years of WFABBA data, as well as the data produced in real-time. Implemented, planned, and potential additional features will be examined.

  11. Characteristics of atmospheric ice nucleating particles associated with biomass burning in the US: Prescribed burns and wildfires

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    McCluskey, Christina S.; DeMott, Paul J.; Prenni, Anthony J.; Levin, Ezra J. T.; McMeeking, Gavin R.; Sullivan, Amy P.; Hill, Thomas C. J.; Nakao, Shunsuke; Carrico, Christian M.; Kreidenweis, Sonia M.

    2014-09-01

    An improved understanding of atmospheric ice nucleating particles (INP), including sources and atmospheric abundance, is needed to advance our understanding of aerosol-cloud-climate interactions. This study examines diverse biomass burning events to better constrain our understanding of how fires impact populations of INP. Sampling of prescribed burns and wildfires in Colorado and Georgia, U.S.A., revealed that biomass burning leads to the release of particles that are active as condensation/immersion freezing INP at temperatures from -32 to -12°C. During prescribed burning of wiregrass, up to 64% of INP collected during smoke-impacted periods were identified as soot particles via electron microscopy analyses. Other carbonaceous types and mineral-like particles dominated INP collected during wildfires of ponderosa pine forest in Colorado. Total measured nINP and the excess nINP associated with smoke-impacted periods were higher during two wildfires compared to the prescribed burns. Interferences from non-smoke sources of INP, including long-range transported mineral dust and local contributions of soils and plant materials lofted from the wildfires themselves, presented challenges in using the observations to develop a smoke-specific nINP parameterization. Nevertheless, these field observations suggest that biomass burning may serve as an important source of INP on a regional scale, particularly during time periods that lack other robust sources of INP such as long-range transported mineral dust.

  12. Using Logistic Regression to Predict the Probability of Debris Flows in Areas Burned by Wildfires, Southern California, 2003-2006

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Rupert, Michael G.; Cannon, Susan H.; Gartner, Joseph E.; Michael, John A.; Helsel, Dennis R.

    2008-01-01

    Logistic regression was used to develop statistical models that can be used to predict the probability of debris flows in areas recently burned by wildfires by using data from 14 wildfires that burned in southern California during 2003-2006. Twenty-eight independent variables describing the basin morphology, burn severity, rainfall, and soil properties of 306 drainage basins located within those burned areas were evaluated. The models were developed as follows: (1) Basins that did and did not produce debris flows soon after the 2003 to 2006 fires were delineated from data in the National Elevation Dataset using a geographic information system; (2) Data describing the basin morphology, burn severity, rainfall, and soil properties were compiled for each basin. These data were then input to a statistics software package for analysis using logistic regression; and (3) Relations between the occurrence or absence of debris flows and the basin morphology, burn severity, rainfall, and soil properties were evaluated, and five multivariate logistic regression models were constructed. All possible combinations of independent variables were evaluated to determine which combinations produced the most effective models, and the multivariate models that best predicted the occurrence of debris flows were identified. Percentage of high burn severity and 3-hour peak rainfall intensity were significant variables in all models. Soil organic matter content and soil clay content were significant variables in all models except Model 5. Soil slope was a significant variable in all models except Model 4. The most suitable model can be selected from these five models on the basis of the availability of independent variables in the particular area of interest and field checking of probability maps. The multivariate logistic regression models can be entered into a geographic information system, and maps showing the probability of debris flows can be constructed in recently burned areas of

  13. Vegetation structure and fire weather influence variation in burn severity and fuel consumption during peatland wildfires

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Davies, G. M.; Domènech, R.; Gray, A.; Johnson, P. C. D.

    2016-01-01

    Temperate peatland wildfires are of significant environmental concern but information on their environmental effects is lacking. We assessed variation in burn severity and fuel consumption within and between wildfires that burnt British moorlands in 2011 and 2012. We adapted the composite burn index (pCBI) to provide semi-quantitative estimates of burn severity. Pre- and post-fire surface (shrubs and graminoids) and ground (litter, moss, duff) fuel loads associated with large wildfires were assessed using destructive sampling and analysed using a generalised linear mixed model (GLMM). Consumption during wildfires was compared with published estimates of consumption during prescribed burns. Burn severity and fuel consumption were related to fire weather, assessed using the Canadian Fire Weather Index System (FWI System), and pre-fire vegetation type. pCBI varied 1.6 fold between, and up to 1.7 fold within, wildfires. pCBI was higher where moisture codes of the FWI System indicated drier fuels. Spatial variation in pre- and post-fire fuel load accounted for a substantial proportion of the variance in fuel loads. Average surface fuel consumption was a linear function of pre-fire fuel load. Average ground fuel combustion completeness could be predicted by the Buildup Index. Carbon release ranged between 0.36 and 1.00 kg C m-2. The flammability of ground fuel layers may explain the higher C release-rates seen for wildfires in comparison to prescribed burns. Drier moorland community types appear to be at greater risk of severe burns than blanket-bog communities.

  14. Vegetation structure and fire weather influence variation in burn severity and fuel consumption during peatland wildfires

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Davies, G. M.; Domènech, R.; Gray, A.; Johnson, P. C. D.

    2015-09-01

    Temperate peatland wildfires are of significant environmental concern but information on their environmental effects is lacking. We assessed variation in burn severity and fuel consumption within and between wildfires that burnt British moorlands in 2011 and 2012. We adapted the Composite Burn Index (pCBI) to provide semi-quantitative estimates of burn severity. Pre- and post-fire surface (shrubs and graminoids) and ground (litter, moss, duff) fuel loads associated with large wildfires were assessed using destructive sampling and analysed using a Generalised Linear Mixed Model (GLMM). Consumption during wildfires was compared with published estimates of consumption during prescribed burns. Burn severity and fuel consumption were related to fire weather, assessed using the Canadian Fire Weather Index System (FWI System), and pre-fire fuel structure. pCBI varied 1.6 fold between, and up to 1.7 fold within, wildfires. pCBI was higher where moisture codes of the FWI System indicated drier fuels. Spatial variation in pre- and post-fire fuel load accounted for a substantial proportion of the variance in fuel loads. Average surface fuel consumption was a linear function of pre-fire fuel load. Average ground fuel combustion completeness could be predicted by the Buildup Index. Carbon release ranged between 0.36 and 1.00 kg C m-2. The flammability of ground fuel layers may explain the higher C release-rates seen for wildfires in comparison to prescribed burns. Drier moorland community types appear to be at greater risk of severe burns than blanket-bog communities.

  15. Wildfire susceptibility mapping: comparing deterministic and stochastic approaches

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pereira, Mário; Leuenberger, Michael; Parente, Joana; Tonini, Marj

    2016-04-01

    Estimating the probability of wildfire-occurrence in a certain area under particular environmental conditions represents a modern tool to support forest protection plans and to reduce fires consequences. This can be performed by the implementation of wildfire susceptibility mapping, normally achieved employing more or less sophisticated models which combine the predisposing variables (as raster datasets) into a geographic information systems (GIS). The selection of the appropriate variables includes the evaluation of success and the implementation of prediction curves, as well as independent probabilistic validations for different scenarios. These methods allow to define the spatial pattern of wildfire-occurrences, characterize the susceptibility of the territory, namely for specific fire causes/types, and can also account for other factors such as human behavior and social aspects. We selected Portugal as the study region which, due to its favorable climatic, topographic and vegetation conditions, is by far the European country most affected by wildfires. In addition, Verde and Zêzere (2010) performed a first assessment and validation of wildfire susceptibility and hazard in Portugal which can be used as benchmarking. The objectives of the present study comprise: (1) assessing the structural forest fire risk in Portugal using updated datasets, namely, with higher spatial resolution (80 m to 25 m), most recent vegetation cover (Corine Land Cover), longer fire history (1975-2013); and, (2) comparing linear vs non-linear approaches for wildfire susceptibility mapping. The data we used includes: (i) a DEM derived from the Shuttle Radar Topographic Mission in a resolution of 1 arc-seconds (DEM-SRTM 25 m) to assess elevation and slope; (ii) the Corine Land Cover inventory provided by the European Environment Agency (http://www.eea.europa.eu/pt) to produce the land use land cover map; (iii) the National Mapping Burnt Areas (NMBA) provided by the Institute for the

  16. Data Mining and the Twitter Platform for Prescribed Burn and Wildfire Incident Reporting with Geospatial Applications

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Endsley, K.; McCarty, J. L.

    2012-12-01

    Data mining techniques have been applied to social media in a variety of contexts, from mapping the evolution of the Tahrir Square protests in Egypt to predicting influenza outbreaks. The Twitter platform is a particular favorite due to its robust application programming interface (API) and high throughput. Twitter, Inc. estimated in 2011 that over 2,200 messages or "tweets" are generated every second. Also helpful is Twitter's semblance in operation to the short message service (SMS), better known as "texting," available on cellular phones and the most popular means of wide telecommunications in many developing countries. In the United States, Twitter has been used by a number of federal, state and local officials as well as motivated individuals to report prescribed burns in advance (sometimes as part of a reporting obligation) or to communicate the emergence, response to, and containment of wildfires. These reports are unstructured and, like all Twitter messages, limited to 140 UTF-8 characters. Through internal research and development at the Michigan Tech Research Institute, the authors have developed a data mining routine that gathers potential tweets of interest using the Twitter API, eliminates duplicates ("retweets"), and extracts relevant information such as the approximate size and condition of the fire. Most importantly, the message is geocoded and/or contains approximate locational information, allowing for prescribed and wildland fires to be mapped. Natural language processing techniques, adapted to improve computational performance, are used to tokenize and tag these elements for each tweet. The entire routine is implemented in the Python programming language, using open-source libraries. As such, it is demonstrated in a web-based framework where prescribed burns and/or wildfires are mapped in real time, visualized through a JavaScript-based mapping client in any web browser. The practices demonstrated here generalize to an SMS platform (or any short

  17. Air quality impact and physicochemical aging of biomass burning aerosols during the 2007 San Diego wildfires.

    PubMed

    Zauscher, Melanie D; Wang, Ying; Moore, Meagan J K; Gaston, Cassandra J; Prather, Kimberly A

    2013-07-16

    Intense wildfires burning >360000 acres in San Diego during October, 2007 provided a unique opportunity to study the impact of wildfires on local air quality and biomass burning aerosol (BBA) aging. The size-resolved mixing state of individual particles was measured in real-time with an aerosol time-of-flight mass spectrometer (ATOFMS) for 10 days after the fires commenced. Particle concentrations were high county-wide due to the wildfires; 84% of 120-400 nm particles by number were identified as BBA, with particles <400 nm contributing to mass concentrations dangerous to public health, up to 148 μg/m(3). Evidence of potassium salts heterogeneously reacting with inorganic acids was observed with continuous high temporal resolution for the first time. Ten distinct chemical types shown as BBA factors were identified through positive matrix factorization coupled to single particle analysis, including particles comprised of potassium chloride and organic nitrogen during the beginning of the wildfires, ammonium nitrate and amines after an increase of relative humidity, and sulfate dominated when the air mass back trajectories passed through the Los Angeles port region. Understanding BBA aging processes and quantifying the size-resolved mass and number concentrations are important in determining the overall impact of wildfires on air quality, health, and climate. PMID:23750590

  18. Burned and unburned peat water repellency: Implications for peatland evaporation following wildfire

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kettridge, N.; Humphrey, R. E.; Smith, J. E.; Lukenbach, M. C.; Devito, K. J.; Petrone, R. M.; Waddington, J. M.

    2014-05-01

    Water repellency alters soil hydrology after periods of wildfire, potentially modifying the ecosystem recovery to such disturbance. Despite this potential importance, the extent and severity of water repellency within burned peatlands and its importance in regulating peatland recovery to wildfire disturbance remains poorly understood. We characterised the water repellency of peat in a burned (one year post-fire) and unburned peatland in the Western Boreal Plain utilising the water drop penetration time and ethanol droplet molarity tests. Burned Sphagnum moss and feather moss sites had a more severe degree of water repellency than unburned sites, with differences being more pronounced between burned and unburned feather moss sites. Burned feather moss exhibited the most extreme water repellency, followed by unburned feather moss, and burned Sphagnum. The severity of water repellency varied with depth through the near surface of the moss/peat profile. This was most evident within the burned feathermoss where more extreme water repellency was observed at the near-surface compared to the surface, with the most extreme water repellency found at 1 and 5 cm depths. Unburned Sphagnum was completely hydrophilic at all depths. We suggest that the extreme water repellency in near-surface feather moss peat acts as a barrier that impedes the supply of water to the surface that replaces that lost via evaporation. This leads to drying of the near-surface vadose zone within feather moss areas and a concomitantly large decrease in peatland evaporation within feather moss dominated peatlands. This negative feedback mechanism likely enhances the resilience of such peatland to wildfire disturbance, maintaining a high water table position, thereby limiting peat decomposition. In comparison, such a feedback is not observed strongly within Sphagnum, leaving Sphagnum dominated peatlands potentially vulnerable to low water table positions post disturbance.

  19. Inclusion of biomass burning in WRF-Chem: Impact of wildfires on weather forecasts

    SciTech Connect

    Grell, G. A.; Freitas, Saulo; Stuefer, Martin; Fast, Jerome D.

    2011-06-06

    A plume rise algorithm for wildfires was included in WRF-Chem, and applied to look at the impact of intense wildfires during the 2004 Alaska wildfire season on weather forecasts using model resolutions of 10km and 2km. Biomass burning emissions were estimated using a biomass burning emissions model. In addition, a 1-D, time-dependent cloud model was used online in WRF-Chem to estimate injection heights as well as the final emission rates. It was shown that with the inclusion of the intense wildfires of the 2004 fire season in the model simulations, the interaction of the aerosols with the atmospheric radiation led to significant modifications of vertical profiles of temperature and moisture in cloud-free areas. On the other hand, when clouds were present, the high concentrations of fine aerosol (PM2.5) and the resulting large numbers of Cloud Condensation Nuclei (CCN) had a strong impact on clouds and microphysics, with decreased precipitation coverage and precipitation amounts during the first 12 hours of the integration, but significantly stronger storms during the afternoon hours.

  20. Postfire soil burn severity mapping with hyperspectral image unmixing

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Robichaud, P.R.; Lewis, S.A.; Laes, D.Y.M.; Hudak, A.T.; Kokaly, R.F.; Zamudio, J.A.

    2007-01-01

    Burn severity is mapped after wildfires to evaluate immediate and long-term fire effects on the landscape. Remotely sensed hyperspectral imagery has the potential to provide important information about fine-scale ground cover components that are indicative of burn severity after large wildland fires. Airborne hyperspectral imagery and ground data were collected after the 2002 Hayman Fire in Colorado to assess the application of high resolution imagery for burn severity mapping and to compare it to standard burn severity mapping methods. Mixture Tuned Matched Filtering (MTMF), a partial spectral unmixing algorithm, was used to identify the spectral abundance of ash, soil, and scorched and green vegetation in the burned area. The overall performance of the MTMF for predicting the ground cover components was satisfactory (r2 = 0.21 to 0.48) based on a comparison to fractional ash, soil, and vegetation cover measured on ground validation plots. The relationship between Landsat-derived differenced Normalized Burn Ratio (dNBR) values and the ground data was also evaluated (r2 = 0.20 to 0.58) and found to be comparable to the MTMF. However, the quantitative information provided by the fine-scale hyperspectral imagery makes it possible to more accurately assess the effects of the fire on the soil surface by identifying discrete ground cover characteristics. These surface effects, especially soil and ash cover and the lack of any remaining vegetative cover, directly relate to potential postfire watershed response processes. ?? 2006 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  1. Predicting gully rejuvenation after wildfire using remotely sensed burn severity data

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hyde, Kevin; Woods, Scott W.; Donahue, Jack

    2007-05-01

    The loss of surface vegetation and reduced infiltration caused by wildfires can trigger gully rejuvenation, resulting in damage to downstream aquatic resources and risk to human life and property. We developed a spatially explicit metric of burn severity — the Burn Severity Distribution Index (BSDI) — and tested its ability to predict post-fire gully rejuvenation in 1st and 2nd order basins burned in the 2000 Valley Complex fires in the Sapphire Mountains of western Montana. The BSDI was derived from burn severity data interpreted from Landsat 7 satellite imagery using the Normalized Burn Ratio (NBR) method, and ranged from 0.0 for completely unburned basins to 4.0 for basins burned entirely at high severity. In July 2001 rainstorms with peak 30-minute intensities of up to 17 mm h - 1 triggered gully rejuvenation in 66 of the 171 basins examined. The frequency of gully rejuvenation was higher in basins with higher BSDI values, increasing from zero for basins with a BSDI less than 1.3 to 67% for basins with a BSDI greater than 3.0. Binary logistic regression indicated that BSDI was a more significant predictor of gully rejuvenation than basin morphometric variables. The absence of gully rejuvenation in several basins with a high BSDI was attributed to low gradient, dense riparian vegetation, or concentration of high burn severity at lower elevations in the basin. The presence of gully rejuvenation in several basins with a low BSDI was associated with false negative NBR classification errors in northwest aspects, and concentration of severe burn impacts in the drainage headslopes. BSDI is a useful metric for predicting gully rejuvenation after wildfire. The use of the BSDI in Burned Area Emergency Response team assessments could improve the planning, implementation, and monitoring of burned area recovery treatments.

  2. Preliminary Analytical Results for Ash and Burned Soils from the October 2007 Southern California Wildfires

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Plumlee, Geoffrey S.; Martin, Deborah A.; Hoefen, Todd; Kokaly, Raymond F.; Hageman, Philip; Eckberg, Alison; Meeker, Gregory P.; Adams, Monique; Anthony, Michael; Lamothe, Paul J.

    2007-01-01

    Overview The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) collected ash and burned soils from about 28 sites in southern California wildfire areas (Harris, Witch, Ammo, Santiago, Canyon and Grass Valley) from Nov. 2 through 9, 2007 (table 1). USGS researchers are applying a wide variety of analytical methods to these samples, with the goal of helping identify characteristics of the ash and soils from wildland and suburban burned areas that may be of concern for their potential to adversely affect water quality, human health, endangered species, and debris-flow or flooding hazards. These studies are part of the Southern California Multi-Hazards Demonstration Project, and preliminary findings are presented here.

  3. Can post-wildfire Burned Area Emergency Response treatments mitigate watershed degradation?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Neary, D.; Ffolliott, P.; Bautista, S.; Wittenberg, L.

    2009-04-01

    Wildfire is a natural phenomenon that began with the development of terrestrial vegetation in a lightning-filled atmosphere 350 million years ago. As human populations developed in the Pleistocene and Holocene epochs, mankind transformed fire into one of its oldest tools. A negative impact of prime concern in the 21st Century is desertification. This term refers to land degradation, not the immediate creation of classical deserts. It is about the loss of the land's proper hydrologic function and biological productivity as a result of human activities and climate change. It affects 33% of the earth's surface and over a billion people. Fire-related desertification has a number of environmental, social, and economic consequences. The two key environmental consequences are soil erosion and exotic plant invasions. Wildfires typically have exotic plant species abundances ten times that of undisturbed forests (Neary et al. 2003). Seeding has been used for many years in the USA as a prime Burned Area Emergency Response (BAER) treatment. Until recently, this seeding contributed to exotic plant invasions since fast-growing, but non native plants seeds were used. The use of native plant seeds and sterile hybrids has reduced this problem somewhat. Erosion after wildfires documented in the USA can be in the range of <1 to 370 Mg/ha, depending on fire severity, degree of water repellency, slope, and post-fire rainfall events. Soil losses in the high end of that range definitely exceed soil loss tolerances and contribute to desertification. Soil disturbance and degradation after wildfires is a function of fire severity, and the impacts can range from the minimal to catastrophic and long-lasting. The most obvious impact is the loss of organic matter from combustion of the forest floor. Changes in soil physical and chemical properties with high-severity wildfire can produce water repellency, aggravating rainfall runoff and erosion. Since soils take long times to form (50 to 75

  4. Long lead statistical forecasts of area burned in western U.S. wildfires by ecosystem province

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Westerling, A.L.; Gershunov, A.; Cayan, D.R.; Barnett, T.P.

    2002-01-01

    A statistical forecast methodology exploits large-scale patterns in monthly U.S. Climatological Division Palmer Drought Severity Index (PDSI) values over a wide region and several seasons to predict area burned in western U.S. wildfires by ecosystem province a season in advance. The forecast model, which is based on canonical correlations, indicates that a few characteristic patterns determine predicted wildfire season area burned. Strong negative associations between anomalous soil moisture (inferred from PDSI) immediately prior to the fire season and area burned dominate in most higher elevation forested provinces, while strong positive associations between anomalous soil moisture a year prior to the fire season and area burned dominate in desert and shrub and grassland provinces. In much of the western U.S., above- and below-normal fire season forecasts were successful 57% of the time or better, as compared with a 33% skill for a random guess, and with a low probability of being surprised by a fire season at the opposite extreme of that forecast.

  5. Debris-flow susceptibility of watersheds recently burned by wildfire

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Cannon, S.H.

    2004-01-01

    Evaluation of the erosional response of 95 recently burned watersheds in Colorado, New Mexico, and southern California to storm rainfall established the factors that best differentiate between debris-flow producing basins and those that produced other flow responses. These factors are drainage-basin morphology and lithology, and the presence or absence of water-repellent soils. Basins underlain by sedimentary rocks were most likely to produce debris flows that contain large material, and sand- and gravel-dominated debris flows were generated primarily from terrain underlain by decomposed granite. Basin-area and relief thresholds define the morphologic conditions under which both types of debris flows occurred. Debris flows containing large material were more likely to be produced from basins without water-repellent soils than from basins with water repellency. The occurrence of sand and gravel-dominated debris flows depended on the presence of water repellent soils. Copyright 2004 ASCE.

  6. Biomass burning smoke episodes in Finland from Eastern European wildfires

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Leino, Katri E.; Riuttanen, Laura; Nieminen, Tuomo; Dal Maso, Miikka; Väänänen, Riikka; Pohja, Toivo; Keronen, Petri; Järvi, Leena; Aalto, Pasi P.; Virkkula, Aki; Kerminen, Veli-Matti; Petäjä, Tuukka; Kulmala, Markku

    2014-05-01

    Biomass burning emissions from Eastern Europe are occasionally observed in Finland. In spring of 2006 and the late summers of 2006 and 2010, smoke plumes were transported to large parts of Finland. By combining multiple methods we were able to study the horizontal and vertical properties of long-range transported smoke plume, as well as time evolution of particle number size distributions in an aged biomass burning smoke. In this study we used trace gas and aerosol particle number size distribution measurements at three SMEAR stations (Station for Measuring Forest Ecosystem - Atmosphere Relations; Ruuskanen et al., 2003; Hari & Kulmala, 2005; Järvi et al., 2009). Vertical distribution of the smoke was studied by a small aircraft, Cessna FR172F, instrumented with Ultrafine Condensation Particle Counter and CO2/H2O -gas analyser. The airborne measurements were compared with vertical profiles from a polarization-sensitive, two-wavelength lidar (CALIOP; the Cloud-Aerosol Lidar with Orthogonal Polarization; Winker et al., 2009) onboard the CALIPSO satellite (the Cloud-Aerosol Lidar and Infrared Pathfinder Satellite Observation). HYSPLIT 4 (Hybrid Single Particle Lagrangian Integrated Trajectory Model; Draxler, 1999) backward trajectories as well as MODIS (Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer) Terra thermal anomalies data (MOD14A1) were used together with synoptic analyses to study the transport and the horizontal distribution of the smoke. In the spring 2006, there was a blocking high pressure system in Eastern Europe and smoke from the Eastern European fires was transported far to the north-west. The smoke episode in Finland lasted for two weeks. In summers of 2006 and 2010 the smoke came to Finland in a warm sector of a low-pressure system and the episodes lasted for less than two days. Smoke plumes had elevated concentrations of aerosol particles, black carbon and CO, and varying concentrations of CO2, SO2, O3 and NOx. The difference to the background air

  7. Burn Severity Mapping in Australia 2009

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    McKinley, R.; Clark, J.; Lecker, J.

    2012-07-01

    In 2009, the Victoria Department of Sustainability and Environment estimated approximately 430,000 hectares of Victoria Australia were burned by numerous bushfires. Burned Area Emergency Response (BAER) teams from the United States were deployed to Victoria to assist local fire managers. The U.S. Geological Survey Earth Resources Observation and Science Center (USGS/EROS) and U.S. Forest Service Remote Sensing Applications Center (USFS/RSAC) aided the support effort by providing satellite-derived "soil burn severity " maps for over 280,000 burned hectares. In the United States, BAER teams are assembled to make rapid assessments of burned lands to identify potential hazards to public health and property. An early step in the assessment process is the creation of a soil burn severity map used to identify hazard areas and prioritize treatment locations. These maps are developed primarily using Landsat satellite imagery and the differenced Normalized Burn Ratio (dNBR) algorithm.

  8. Downwind Measurements of Wildfires with Varying Burn Conditions: Flaming vs. Smoldering Emissions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Collier, S.; Zhou, S.; Onasch, T. B.; Wigder, N. L.; Hee, J.; Jaffe, D. A.; Shilling, J. E.; Fortner, E.; Worsnop, D. R.; Kleinman, L. I.; Sedlacek, A. J., III; Zhang, Q.

    2014-12-01

    During July and August of 2013 two sampling platforms were utilized to probe the physical and chemical properties of wildfire emissions in the Pacific Northwest area of the U.S. during the Department of Energy (DOE) sponsored Biomass Burning Observation Project (BBOP). Continuous ground measurements were taken at the Mt. Bachelor Observatory (MBO) including non-refractory (NR) PM1 size-resolved chemical composition using a High Resolution Time-of-Flight Aerosol Mass Spectrometer (AMS), aerosol light scattering using a Nephelometer, and gas-phase CO, CO2, O3, NOx, and NOy measurements. A similarly equipped sampling platform was launched aboard the Gulfstream-1 (G-1) aircraft which flew near wildfires to probe near-source emissions. Sixteen well-defined fire plumes observed at MBO were selected for detailed analysis and calculation of the modified combustion efficiency (MCE), a quantitative measure of burning conditions. The analyses include calculation of enhancement ratios relative to CO and CO2, elemental ratios of organic aerosols, and back-trajectory analysis for approximate plume age and fire source location. Strong trends were observed when comparing dilution corrected aerosol parameters vs MCE for all plumes identified. Organic PM, scattering and particle-phase inorganic nitrate enhancements displayed a negative correlation with increasing MCE. Various plumes from the G1 data set were analyzed using the same criteria and consistencies were found. We will explore the potential role that burning conditions have on wildfire emissions and how these may be used for better modeling and more accurate emissions inventories.

  9. Modeling the Spatial Pattern of Wildfire Ignition and Burned Area in Southern Californian Mediterranean Ecosystems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Faivre, N.; Jin, Y.; Goulden, M.; Randerson, J. T.

    2013-12-01

    Wildfire ignition requires a combination of an ignition source and suitable weather and fuel conditions. Models of fire occurrence and burned area provide a good understanding of the physical and climatic factors that constrain and promote fire spread and recurrence, but information on how humans influence ignition patterns and burned area is still lacking at a scale compatible with integrated fire management. We first investigated the relative importance of the physical, climatic, and human factors regulating ignition probability across Southern California. A 30-year exploratory analysis of one-way relationships indicated that distance to roads, distance to housing, and topographic slope were the major determinants of ignition occurrence and frequency. A logistic regression model explained 70% of spatial variability in ignition occurrence (presence or absence of an ignition in each 3 km grid cell) whereas a Poisson-type regression model explained 45% of the spatial variability in ignition frequency in national forests across Southern California. Predicted ignition probability was a key indicator of the spatial variability of burned area, explaining approximately 9% of the variance for Santa Ana fires and 21% of the variance for non-Santa Ana fires across Southern California. In a second step we combined the previous ignition modeling framework with other data sources to model the spatial distribution of burned area. Preliminary results showed that average wind speed alone explained approximately 30% of the spatial variation in burned area from Santa Ana fires. Further integration of the effects of fuel continuity, moisture, and accumulation and their interaction with wind speed and direction improved our spatial assessment of burned area risk in Southern California. Our results may have implications for strategic fire management in the region.

  10. Provision of a wildfire risk map: informing residents in the wildland urban interface.

    PubMed

    Mozumder, Pallab; Helton, Ryan; Berrens, Robert P

    2009-11-01

    Wildfires in the wildland urban interface (WUI) are an increasing concern throughout the western United States and elsewhere. WUI communities continue to grow and thus increase the wildfire risk to human lives and property. Information such as a wildfire risk map can inform WUI residents of potential risks and may help to efficiently sort mitigation efforts. This study uses the survey-based contingent valuation (CV) method to examine annual household willingness to pay (WTP) for the provision of a wildfire risk map. Data were collected through a mail survey of the East Mountain WUI area in the State of New Mexico (USA). The integrated empirical approach includes a system of equations that involves joint estimation of WTP values, along with measures of a respondent's risk perception and risk mitigation behavior. The median estimated WTP is around U.S. $12 for the annual wildfire risk map, which covers at least the costs of producing and distributing available risk information. Further, providing a wildfire risk map can help address policy goals emphasizing information gathering and sharing among stakeholders to mitigate the effects of wildfires. PMID:19765249

  11. Comparing the influence of wildfire and prescribed burns on watershed nitrogen biogeochemistry using 15N natural abundance in terrestrial and aquatic ecosystem components.

    PubMed

    Stephan, Kirsten; Kavanagh, Kathleen L; Koyama, Akihiro

    2015-01-01

    We evaluated differences in the effects of three low-severity spring prescribed burns and four wildfires on nitrogen (N) biogeochemistry in Rocky Mountain headwater watersheds. We compared paired (burned/unburned) watersheds of four wildfires and three spring prescribed burns for three growing seasons post-fire. To better understand fire effects on the entire watershed ecosystem, we measured N concentrations and δ15N in both the terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems components, i.e., soil, understory plants in upland and riparian areas, streamwater, and in-stream moss. In addition, we measured nitrate reductase activity in foliage of Spiraea betulifolia, a dominant understory species. We found increases of δ15N and N concentrations in both terrestrial and aquatic ecosystem N pools after wildfire, but responses were limited to terrestrial N pools after prescribed burns indicating that N transfer from terrestrial to aquatic ecosystem components did not occur in low-severity prescribed burns. Foliar δ15N differed between wildfire and prescribed burn sites; the δ15N of foliage of upland plants was enriched by 2.9 ‰ (difference between burned and unburned watersheds) in the first two years after wildfire, but only 1.3 ‰ after prescribed burns. In-stream moss δ15N in wildfire-burned watersheds was enriched by 1.3 ‰, but there was no response by moss in prescription-burned watersheds, mirroring patterns of streamwater nitrate concentrations. S. betulifolia showed significantly higher nitrate reductase activity two years after wildfires relative to corresponding unburned watersheds, but no such difference was found after prescribed burns. These responses are consistent with less altered N biogeochemistry after prescribed burns relative to wildfire. We concluded that δ15N values in terrestrial and aquatic plants and streamwater nitrate concentrations after fire can be useful indicators of the magnitude and duration of fire effects and the fate of post

  12. Comparing the Influence of Wildfire and Prescribed Burns on Watershed Nitrogen Biogeochemistry Using 15N Natural Abundance in Terrestrial and Aquatic Ecosystem Components

    PubMed Central

    Stephan, Kirsten; Kavanagh, Kathleen L.; Koyama, Akihiro

    2015-01-01

    We evaluated differences in the effects of three low-severity spring prescribed burns and four wildfires on nitrogen (N) biogeochemistry in Rocky Mountain headwater watersheds. We compared paired (burned/unburned) watersheds of four wildfires and three spring prescribed burns for three growing seasons post-fire. To better understand fire effects on the entire watershed ecosystem, we measured N concentrations and δ15N in both the terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems components, i.e., soil, understory plants in upland and riparian areas, streamwater, and in-stream moss. In addition, we measured nitrate reductase activity in foliage of Spiraea betulifolia, a dominant understory species. We found increases of δ15N and N concentrations in both terrestrial and aquatic ecosystem N pools after wildfire, but responses were limited to terrestrial N pools after prescribed burns indicating that N transfer from terrestrial to aquatic ecosystem components did not occur in low-severity prescribed burns. Foliar δ15N differed between wildfire and prescribed burn sites; the δ15N of foliage of upland plants was enriched by 2.9 ‰ (difference between burned and unburned watersheds) in the first two years after wildfire, but only 1.3 ‰ after prescribed burns. In-stream moss δ15N in wildfire-burned watersheds was enriched by 1.3 ‰, but there was no response by moss in prescription-burned watersheds, mirroring patterns of streamwater nitrate concentrations. S. betulifolia showed significantly higher nitrate reductase activity two years after wildfires relative to corresponding unburned watersheds, but no such difference was found after prescribed burns. These responses are consistent with less altered N biogeochemistry after prescribed burns relative to wildfire. We concluded that δ15N values in terrestrial and aquatic plants and streamwater nitrate concentrations after fire can be useful indicators of the magnitude and duration of fire effects and the fate of post

  13. Sample Collection of Ash and Burned Soils from the October 2007 Southern California Wildfires

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Hoefen, Todd M.; Kokaly, Raymond F.; Martin, Deborah A.; Rochester, Carlton; Plumlee, Geoffrey S.; Mendez, Greg; Reichard, Eric G.; Fisher, Robert N.

    2009-01-01

    Between November 2 through 9, 2007 scientists from the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) collected samples of ash and burned soils from 28 sites in six areas burned as a result of the Southern California wildfires of October 2007, including the Harris, Witch, Santiago, Ammo, Canyon, and Grass Valley Fires. The primary goal of this sampling and analysis effort was to understand how differences in ash and burned soil composition relate to vegetation type, underlying bedrock geology, burn intensity, and residential versus wildland. Sampling sites were chosen with the input of local experts from the USGS Water Resources and Biological Resources Disciplines to help understand possible effects of the fires on water supplies, ecosystems, and endangered species. The sampling was also carried out in conjunction with detailed field analysis of the spectral reflectance characteristics of the ash, so that chemical and mineralogical characteristics of the field samples could be used to help interpret data collected as part of an airborne, hyperspectral remote-sensing survey of several of the burned areas in mid-late November, 2007. This report presents an overview of the field sampling methodologies used to collect the samples, includes representative photos of the sites sampled, and summarizes important characteristics of each of the collection sites. In this report we use the term 'ash' to refer collectively to white mineral ash, which results from full combustion of vegetation and black charred organic matter from partial combustion of vegetation or other materials. These materials were found to be intermingled as a deposited residue on the soil surface following the Southern California fires of 2007.

  14. Trying Not to Get Burned: Understanding Homeowners' Wildfire Risk-Mitigation Behaviors

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Brenkert-Smith, Hannah; Champ, Patricia A.; Flores, Nicholas

    2012-12-01

    Three causes have been identified for the spiraling cost of wildfire suppression in the United States: climate change, fuel accumulation from past wildfire suppression, and development in fire-prone areas. Because little is likely to be performed to halt the effects of climate on wildfire risk, and because fuel-management budgets cannot keep pace with fuel accumulation let alone reverse it, changing the behaviors of existing and potential homeowners in fire-prone areas is the most promising approach to decreasing the cost of suppressing wildfires in the wildland-urban interface and increasing the odds of homes surviving wildfire events. Wildfire education efforts encourage homeowners to manage their property to decrease wildfire risk. Such programs may be more effective with a better understanding of the factors related to homeowners' decisions to undertake wildfire risk-reduction actions. In this study, we measured whether homeowners had implemented 12 wildfire risk-mitigation measures in 2 Colorado Front Range counties. We found that wildfire information received from local volunteer fire departments and county wildfire specialists, as well as talking with neighbors about wildfire, were positively associated with higher levels of mitigation. Firsthand experience in the form of preparing for or undertaking an evacuation was also associated with a higher level of mitigation. Finally, homeowners who perceived higher levels of wildfire risk on their property had undertaken higher levels of wildfire-risk mitigation on their property.

  15. Vegetation burn severity mapping using Landsat-8 and WorldView-2

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Wu, Zhuoting; Middleton, Barry R.; Hetzler, Robert; Vogel, John M.; Dye, Dennis G.

    2015-01-01

    We used remotely sensed data from the Landsat-8 and WorldView-2 satellites to estimate vegetation burn severity of the Creek Fire on the San Carlos Apache Reservation, where wildfire occurrences affect the Tribe's crucial livestock and logging industries. Accurate pre- and post-fire canopy maps at high (0.5-meter) resolution were created from World- View-2 data to generate canopy loss maps, and multiple indices from pre- and post-fire Landsat-8 images were used to evaluate vegetation burn severity. Normalized difference vegetation index based vegetation burn severity map had the highest correlation coefficients with canopy loss map from WorldView-2. Two distinct approaches - canopy loss mapping from WorldView-2 and spectral index differencing from Landsat-8 - agreed well with the field-based burn severity estimates and are both effective for vegetation burn severity mapping. Canopy loss maps created with WorldView-2 imagery add to a short list of accurate vegetation burn severity mapping techniques that can help guide effective management of forest resources on the San Carlos Apache Reservation, and the broader fire-prone regions of the Southwest.

  16. Leachate Geochemical Results for Ash and Burned Soil Samples from the October 2007 Southern California Wildfires

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Hageman, Philip L.; Plumlee, Geoffrey S.; Martin, Deborah A.; Hoefen, Todd M.; Meeker, Gregory P.; Adams, Monique; Lamothe, Paul J.; Anthony, Michael W.

    2008-01-01

    This report is the second release of leachate geochemical data included as part of a multidisciplinary study of ash and burned soil samples from the October 2007 wildfires in southern California. Geochemical data for the first set of samples were released in an Open-File Report (Plumlee and others, 2007). This study is a continuation of that work. The objectives of this leaching study are to aid in understanding the interactions of ash and burned soil with rainfall. For this study, 12 samples collected in early November 2007 were leached using the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) Field Leach Test (FLT). Following leaching, sub-samples of the leachate were analyzed for pH and specific conductance. The leachate was then filtered, and aliquots were preserved for geochemical analysis. This report presents leachate geochemical data for pH, specific conductance, alkalinity, anions using ion chromatography (I.C.), cations using inductively coupled plasma?atomic mass spectrometry (ICP-MS), and mercury by continuous flow injection?cold vapor?atomic fluorescence (CVAFS).

  17. Wildfire impacts on the processes that generate debris flows in burned watersheds

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Parise, M.; Cannon, S.H.

    2012-01-01

    Every year, and in many countries worldwide, wildfires cause significant damage and economic losses due to both the direct effects of the fires and the subsequent accelerated runoff, erosion, and debris flow. Wildfires can have profound effects on the hydrologic response of watersheds by changing the infiltration characteristics and erodibility of the soil, which leads to decreased rainfall infiltration, significantly increased overland flow and runoff in channels, and movement of soil. Debris-flow activity is among the most destructive consequences of these changes, often causing extensive damage to human infrastructure. Data from the Mediterranean area and Western United States of America help identify the primary processes that result in debris flows in recently burned areas. Two primary processes for the initiation of fire-related debris flows have been so far identified: (1) runoff-dominated erosion by surface overland flow; and (2) infiltration-triggered failure and mobilization of a discrete landslide mass. The first process is frequently documented immediately post-fire and leads to the generation of debris flows through progressive bulking of storm runoff with sediment eroded from the hillslopes and channels. As sediment is incorporated into water, runoff can convert to debris flow. The conversion to debris flow may be observed at a position within a drainage network that appears to be controlled by threshold values of upslope contributing area and its gradient. At these locations, sufficient eroded material has been incorporated, relative to the volume of contributing surface runoff, to generate debris flows. Debris flows have also been generated from burned basins in response to increased runoff by water cascading over a steep, bedrock cliff, and incorporating material from readily erodible colluvium or channel bed. Post-fire debris flows have also been generated by infiltration-triggered landslide failures which then mobilize into debris flows. However

  18. Mixing State and Aging of Biomass Burning Aerosols During the 2007 San Diego Wildfires

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zauscher, M. D.; Wang, Y.; Moore, M. J.; Gaston, C. J.; Prather, K. A.

    2011-12-01

    Biomass burning aerosols (BBA) significantly affect regional and global air quality, health and climate, yet their mixing state is not fully characterized. Specifically, aerosols from burning land dominated by chaparral shrubs, such as in Southern California, are less characterized than other BBA, although fires in this area have been increasing in frequency since 1980s. During the 2007 San Diego Wildfires the size-resolved chemistry of 100-400 nm single particles was determined in real-time with an ultra-fine aerosol time of flight mass spectrometer (UF-ATOFMS). BBA, identified by having a strong potassium peak and smaller carbonaceous markers present in the mass spectra, made up 84% of all particles measured between 10/22/07 and 11/1/07. Even though levoglucosan is known as a good biomass burning tracer, only 36% of all BBA in this study had this tracer present. Positive Matrix Factorization (PMF) analysis was utilized to group different BBA chemical markers, such as potassium salts, sulfate, ammonium, oxalate and levoglucosan. A spike in ammonium was observed with the increase in relative humidity on 10/25/07 and correlated with nitric acid and nitrate, indicating that the majority of ammonium was present as NH4NO3. The presence of different potassium salts were used to identify the age of BBA. K2Cl+, indicative of fresh BBA, was only seen at the beginning of the wildfires when the size mode of particles was ~<120 nm. K2NO3+ and K3SO4+ spiked at different times, with K2NO3+ peaking before K3SO4+. Particles with K3SO4+ had larger sizes than those with K2NO3+, thus K2NO3+ represents slightly aged whereas K3SO4+ represents moderately aged BBA. The largest BBA observed, and hence the most aged, were those characterized by the lack of potassium salts and the presence of secondary markers, such as sulfate and oxalate. In summary, we observed the evolution of BBA undergoing four distinct aging steps based on particle size and composition: slightly fresh, slightly aged

  19. Size and mass distributions of ground-level sub-micrometer biomass burning aerosol from small wildfires

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Okoshi, Rintaro; Rasheed, Abdur; Chen Reddy, Greeshma; McCrowey, Clinton J.; Curtis, Daniel B.

    2014-06-01

    Biomass burning emits large amounts of aerosol particles globally, influencing human health and climate, but the number and size of the particles is highly variable depending on fuel type, burning and meteorological conditions, and secondary reactions in the atmosphere. Ambient measurements of aerosol during wildfire events can therefore improve our understanding of particulate matter produced from biomass burning. In this study, time-resolved sub-micrometer ambient aerosol size and mass distributions of freshly emitted aerosol were measured for three biomass burning wildfire events near Northridge, California, located in the highly populated San Fernando Valley area of Los Angeles. One fire (Marek) was observed during the dry Santa Ana conditions that are typically present during large Southern California wildfires, but two smaller fires (Getty and Camarillo) were observed during the more predominant non-Santa Ana weather conditions. Although the fires were generally small and extinguished quickly, they produced particle number concentrations as high as 50,000 cm-3 and mass concentrations as large as 150 μg cm-3, well above background measurements and among the highest values observed for fires in Southern California. Therefore, small wildfires can have a large impact on air quality if they occur near urban areas. Particle number distributions were lognormal, with peak diameters in the accumulation mode at approximately 100 nm. However, significant Aitken mode and nucleation mode particles were observed in bimodal distributions for one fire. Significant variations in the median diameter were observed over time, as particles generally became smaller as the fires were contained. The results indicate that it is likely that performing mass measurements alone could systematically miss detection of the smaller particles and size measurements may be better suited for studies of ambient biomass burning events. Parameters of representative unimodal and bimodal lognormal

  20. Evaluating the accuracy of a MODIS direct broadcast algorithm for mapping burned areas over Russia

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Petkov, A.; Hao, W. M.; Nordgren, B.; Corley, R.; Urbanski, S. P.; Ponomarev, E. I.

    2012-12-01

    Emission inventories for open area biomass burning rely on burned area estimates as a key component. We have developed an automated algorithm based on MODerate resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) satellite instrument data for estimating burned area from biomass fires. The algorithm is based on active fire detections, burn scars from MODIS calibrated radiances (MOD02HKM), and MODIS land cover classification (MOD12Q1). Our burned area product combines active fires and burn scar detections using spatio-temporal criteria, and has a resolution of 500 x 500 meters. The algorithm has been used for smoke emission estimates over the western United States. We will present the assessed accuracy of our algorithm in different regions of Russia with intense wildfire activity by comparing our results with the burned area product from the Sukachev Institute of Forest (SIF) of the Russian Academy of Sciences in Krasnoyarsk, Russia, as well as burn scars extracted from Landsat imagery. Landsat burned area extraction was based on threshold classification using the Jenks Natural Breaks algorithm to the histogram for each singe scene Normalized Burn Ratio (NBR) image. The final evaluation consisted of a grid-based approach, where the burned area in each 3 km x 3 km grid cell was calculated and compared with the other two sources. A comparison between our burned area estimates and those from SIF showed strong correlation (R2=0.978), although our estimate is approximately 40% lower than the SIF burned areas. The linear fit between the burned area from Landsat scenes and our MODIS algorithm over 18,754 grid cells resulted with a slope of 0.998 and R2=0.7, indicating that our algorithm is suitable for mapping burned areas for fires in boreal forests and other ecosystems. The results of our burned area algorithm will be used for estimating emissions of trace gasses and aerosol particles (including black carbon) from biomass burning in Northern Eurasia for the period of 2002-2011.

  1. Soil moisture variation and dynamics across a wildfire burn boundary in a loblolly pine (Pinus taeda) forest

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cardenas, M. Bayani; Kanarek, Michael R.

    2014-11-01

    A year after the most destructive wildfire in Texas (USA) history which occurred in and around Bastrop State Park, we established a 165 m-long study transect, bridging burned and unburned areas, to study post-wildfire soil moisture dynamics. Soil moisture content (θ) was monitored indirectly approximately monthly for half a year using a variety of methods with different measurement scales including: 2D electrical resistivity (ER) imaging and surface and vertical profiles using probes which measure soil dielectric properties. The burned section, where the majority of loblolly pine trees were killed, had higher θ and lower ER whereas the unburned end which is still populated by live pine trees had lower θ and higher ER. This pattern persisted from the ground surface and down to ∼2 m and through the study period even after a rainfall event which made the whole transect generally wetter but with the burned end showing a much stronger wetting response to the storm. The differences in θ cannot be explained by differences in soil texture with the burned end with sand soil and the unburned end with less permeable loamy sand. The differing results may be explained by loss of canopy cover and by reduced transpiration at the burned end where the dead roots may also potentially serve as macropores. Thus, after fires and until new vegetation cover has grown, the burned areas will store and transmit more water which could lead to increased groundwater recharge and promote the recovery or invasion of certain types of vegetation.

  2. Trace gases and particulate matter emissions from wildfires and agricultural burning in Northeastern Mexico during the 2000 fire season.

    PubMed

    Mendoza, Alberto; Garcia, Marisa R; Vela, Patricia; Lozano, D Fabian; Allen, David

    2005-12-01

    An inventory of air pollutants emitted from forest and agricultural fires in Northeastern Mexico for the period of January to August of 2000 is presented. The emissions estimates were calculated using an emissions factor methodology. The inventory accounts for the emission of carbon monoxide (CO), methane, nonmethane hydrocarbons, ammonia, nitrogen oxides, and particulate matter (PM). Particulate matter emissions include estimates for fine PM and coarse PM. A total of 2479 wildfires were identified in the domain for the period of interest, which represented approximately 810,000 acres burned and 621,130 short tons emitted (81% being CO). The main source of information used to locate and estimate the extent of the fires came from satellite imagery. A geographic information system was used to determine the type of vegetation burned by each fire. More than 54% of the total area burned during the period of study was land on the State of Tamaulipas. However, >58% of the estimated emissions came from the State of Coahuila. This was because of the mix of vegetation types burned in each state. With respect to the temporal distribution, 76.9% of the fires occurred during the months of April and May consuming almost 78% of the total area burned during the period of study. Analysis of wind forward trajectories of air masses passing through the burned areas and 850-mb wind reanalyses indicate possible transboundary transport of the emissions from Mexico to the United States during the occurrence of the major wildfires identified. PMID:16408684

  3. Mapping burned areas and burn severity patterns across the Mediterranean region

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kalogeropoulos, Christos; Amatulli, Giuseppe; Kempeneers, Pieter; Sedano, Fernando; San Miguel-Ayanz, Jesus; Camia, Andrea

    2010-05-01

    The Mediterranean region is highly susceptible to wildfires. On average, about 60,000 fires take place in this region every year, burning on average half a million hectares of forests and natural vegetation. Wildfires cause environmental degradation and affect the lives of thousands of people in the region. In order to minimize the consequences of these catastrophic events, fire managers and national authorities need to have in their disposal accurate and updated spatial information concerning the size of the burned area as well as the burn severity patterns. Mapping burned areas and burn severity patterns is necessary to effectively support the decision-making process in what concerns strategic (long-term) planning with the definition of post-fire actions at European and national scales. Although a comprehensive archive of burnt areas exists at the European Forest Fire Information System, the analysis of the severity of the areas affected by forest fires in the region is not yet available. Fire severity is influenced by many variables, including fuel type, topography and meteorological conditions before and during the fire. The analysis of fire severity is essential to determine the socio-economic impact of forest fires, to assess fire impacts, and to determine the need of post-fire rehabilitation measures. Moreover, fire severity is linked to forest fire emissions and determines the rate of recovery of the vegetation after the fire. Satellite imagery can give important insights about the conditions of the live fuel moisture content and can be used to assess changes on vegetation structure and vitality after forest fires. Fire events occurred in Greece, Portugal and Spain during the fire season of 2009 were recorded and analyzed in a GIS environment. The Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI), the Enhanced Vegetation Index (EVI) and the Normalized Burn Ratio (NBR) were calculated from 8-days composites MODIS/TERRA imagery from March to October 2009. In

  4. Signatures of Biomass Burning Aerosols in the Plume of a Saltmarsh Wildfire in South Texas.

    PubMed

    Myers-Pigg, Allison N; Griffin, Robert J; Louchouarn, Patrick; Norwood, Matthew J; Sterne, Amanda; Cevik, Basak Karakurt

    2016-09-01

    The most conventional and abundant tracers of biomass combustion in aerosol particles include potassium and biomarkers derived from thermally altered cellulose/hemicellulose (anhydrosugars) and lignin (methoxyphenols). However, little is known of the role biomass combustion plays as a particulate source of major plant polymers to the atmosphere. Here, concentrations of solvent-extractable anhydrosugars and methoxyphenols are compared to the yields of polymeric lignin oxidation products (LOPs) during a smoke plume event in Houston, Texas. Downwind aerosol samples (PM2.5) were collected surrounding a two-day wildfire in the McFaddin National Wildlife Refuge, 125 km southeast of Houston, which was 12-16 h directly downwind during the peak of the burn. Concentrations of all organic markers, potassium, and calcium increased by a factor of 2-13 within 1-2 days of the start of the fire and dropped to prefire levels 3 days after the peak event. Source signatures of anhydrosugars and methoxyphenols during the peak of the plume were identical to those of grass charcoals collected from the site, confirming the use of charcoals as end-members for source input reconstruction during atmospheric transport. An enrichment factor of 20 in the anhydrosugar to methoxyphenol ratio of aerosols versus charcoals can be explained partially by differences in degradation rate constants between the biomarker groups. LOPs comprised 73-91% of all lignin material in the aerosols, pointing to fires as major sources of primary biogenic aerosol particles in which lignin phenols occur predominantly in polymeric form. PMID:27462728

  5. Effects of ignition location models on the burn patterns of simulated wildfires

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Bar-Massada, A.; Syphard, A.D.; Hawbaker, T.J.; Stewart, S.I.; Radeloff, V.C.

    2011-01-01

    Fire simulation studies that use models such as FARSITE often assume that ignition locations are distributed randomly, because spatially explicit information about actual ignition locations are difficult to obtain. However, many studies show that the spatial distribution of ignition locations, whether human-caused or natural, is non-random. Thus, predictions from fire simulations based on random ignitions may be unrealistic. However, the extent to which the assumption of ignition location affects the predictions of fire simulation models has never been systematically explored. Our goal was to assess the difference in fire simulations that are based on random versus non-random ignition location patterns. We conducted four sets of 6000 FARSITE simulations for the Santa Monica Mountains in California to quantify the influence of random and non-random ignition locations and normal and extreme weather conditions on fire size distributions and spatial patterns of burn probability. Under extreme weather conditions, fires were significantly larger for non-random ignitions compared to random ignitions (mean area of 344.5 ha and 230.1 ha, respectively), but burn probability maps were highly correlated (r = 0.83). Under normal weather, random ignitions produced significantly larger fires than non-random ignitions (17.5 ha and 13.3 ha, respectively), and the spatial correlations between burn probability maps were not high (r = 0.54), though the difference in the average burn probability was small. The results of the study suggest that the location of ignitions used in fire simulation models may substantially influence the spatial predictions of fire spread patterns. However, the spatial bias introduced by using a random ignition location model may be minimized if the fire simulations are conducted under extreme weather conditions when fire spread is greatest. ?? 2010 Elsevier Ltd.

  6. Black Carbon from Biomass Burning Emissions: New Mexico Wildfires and Controlled Laboratory Burns of Fuels Found in the Southwestern US

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Aiken, A. C.; Dubey, M.; Liu, S.; McMeeking, G. R.; Gorkowski, K.; Arata, C.; Mazzoleni, C.; China, S.; Kreidenweis, S. M.; DeMott, P. J.; Yokelson, R. J.; Robinson, A. L.

    2013-12-01

    Black carbon (BC) is currently considered the second most important global warming factor behind CO2 and is thought to be underestimated by a factor of two in most global models (Bond et al., 2013). Approximately half of BC comes from biomass burning (BB) sources, which are estimated to contribute up to ~0.6 W/m2 warming of the atmosphere. Organic carbon (OC) from fires condenses on and/or mixes with the BC, lowering the overall forcing from BB to 0.03 × 0.12 Wm-2. This reduction depends strongly on the composition and mixing state of OC and BC, which is dependent on fire conditions, e.g. modified combustion efficiency. Models and laboratory measurements indicate that a BC core coated with a non-absorbing layer can enhance absorption by 2, although it has yet to be observed in ambient data to this degree (Cappa et al., 2012). Direct on-line measurements of BC are made with the single particle soot photometer (SP2) from "fresh" and "aged" BB. We investigate BC in concentrated BB plumes from the two largest wildfires in New Mexico's history with different ages and compare them to BC from indoor generation from single-source fuels, e.g. ponderosa pine, juniper, sawgrass, sampled during Fire Lab At Missoula Experiments IV (FLAME-IV). FLAME-IV includes direct emissions, well-mixed samples, and aging studies. Aerosol optical properties were measured using photoacoustic spectrometry for absorption and nephelometry for scattering with the 3-wavelength and single-wavelength Photoacoustic Soot Spectrometers (PASS-3: 405 nm, 532 nm, 781 nm; PASS: 375 nm) and for the first time are compared with the new Photoacoustic Extinctiometer (PAX; 870 nm) during FLAME-IV. Las Conchas Fire (July-August, 2011) BC was sampled after only a few hours of aging and exhibits mostly core-shell structure. Whitewater Baldy Fire (May-June, 2012) BC was sampled after an aging period of 10-20 hours and includes partially coated BC in addition to thickly coated core-shell BC. Partially coated BC is

  7. Signatures of Biomass Burning Aerosols during a Smoke Plume Event from a Saltmarsh Wildfire in South Texas

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Louchouarn, P.; Griffin, R. J.; Norwood, M. J.; Sterne, A. M. E.; Karakurt Cevik, B.

    2014-12-01

    The most conventional and abundant tracers of biomass combustion in aerosol particles include potassium and biomarkers derived from thermally altered cellulose/hemicellulose (anhydrosugars) and lignin (methoxyphenols). However, little is known of the role of biomass combustion as a particulate source of major plant polymers to the atmosphere. Here, concentrations of "free" (solvent-extractable) anhydrosugars and methoxyphenols are compared to the yields of polymeric lignin oxidation products (LOPs) during a smoke plume event in Houston, Texas. Downwind aerosol samples (PM2.5) were collected prior to, during, and following a two-day wildfire event that burned ~5,000 acres of a spartina saltmarsh ecosystem in the McFaddin National Wildlife Refuge, 125 km southeast of Houston. In addition, charcoals of the burned plants were collected within a week of the fire at the wildfire site. HYSPLIT modeling shows that Houston was directly downwind of this wildfire during the peak of the burn, with an approximate travel time from source to aerosol sampling site of 12-16 hrs. Concentrations of all organic markers, K+, and Ca2+ jumped by a factor of 2-13 within 1-2 days of the start of the fire and dropped to pre-fire levels three days after the peak event. Source signatures of anhydrosugars and free methoxyphenols during the peak of the plume were identical to those of grass charcoals collected from the site, confirming the potential use of charcoals as endmembers for source input reconstruction during atmospheric transport. An enrichment factor of 20 in the anhydrosugar to methoxyphenol ratio of aerosols vs. charcoals can partially be explained by differences in degradation rate constants between the two biomarker groups. Polymeric LOP comprised 73-91% of all lignin material in the aerosols, pointing to fires as major sources of primary biogenic aerosol particles and confirming an earlier study that lignin phenols in atmospheric particles occur predominantly in polymeric form.

  8. Simulating overland flow following wildfire: mapping vulnerability to landscape disturbance

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Beeson, Peter C.; Martens, Scott N.; Breshears, David D.

    2001-10-01

    The probability of landscape-scale disturbances such as fire are expected to increase in the future due to anticipated climate changes and past land management practices. These disturbances can produce dramatic changes in hydrologic responses (e.g. overland flow) that can pose risks to human life, infrastructure, and the environment. Assessing these risks and associated remediation strategies requires spatially explicit evaluation of upland hydrology. However, most current evaluation methods focus on a specified location within a watershed, precluding estimation of spatially distributed, upland, hydrological response; and those that do consider spatial variability usually do not account for redistribution of overland flow among adjacent subunits. Here we highlight the use of a spatially distributed model for assessing spatial changes in upland hydrologic response following landscape-scale disturbance. Using a distributed model called SPLASH (Simulator for Processes of Landscapes: Surface/Subsurface Hydrology), we simulated pre- and post-fire scenarios based on the Cerro Grande fire (Los Alamos, NM, USA; May 2000) over 17 300 ha (resolution of 30 m × 30 m) for 2 year and 100 year design storms. For the 2 year storm, maximum overland flow rates for burned cells in the post-fire scenario greatly exceeded those for pre-fire conditions (modes: pre-fire, 3·25 × 10-10 m3 s-1; post-fire, 7·0 × 10-10 m3 s-1). For the 100 year storm, maximum overland flow was much greater than for the 2 year storm (modal pre-fire: 31·8 × 10-10 m3 s-1), with the difference between pre- and post-fire simulations being less dramatic (modal post-fire: 48·6 × 10-10 m3 s-1). Mapped differences between pre- and post-fire provide a means for prioritizing upland areas for remediation using an approach that accounts not only for topography, soils, and plant cover, but also for the redistribution of overland flow. More generally, our results highlight the potential utility of spatially

  9. Mapping wildfire effects on Ca2+ and Mg2+ released from ash. A microplot analisis.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pereira, Paulo; Úbeda, Xavier; Martin, Deborah

    2010-05-01

    Wildland fires have important implications in ecosystems dynamic. Their effects depends on many biophysical components, mainly burned specie, ecosystem affected, amount and spatial distribution of the fuel, relative humidity, slope, aspect and time of residence. These parameters are heterogenic across the landscape, producing a complex mosaic of severities. Wildland fires have a heterogenic impact on ecosystems due their diverse biophysical features. It is widely known that fire impacts can change rapidly even in short distances, producing at microplot scale highly spatial variation. Also after a fire, the most visible thing is ash and his physical and chemical properties are of main importance because here reside the majority of the available nutrients available to the plants. Considering this idea, is of major importance, study their characteristics in order to observe the type and amount of elements available to plants. This study is focused on the study of the spatial variability of two nutrients essential to plant growth, Ca2+ and Mg2+, released from ash after a wildfire at microplot scale. The impacts of fire are highly variable even small distances. This creates many problems at the hour of map the effects of fire in the release of the studied elements. Hence is of major priority identify the less biased interpolation method in order to predict with great accuracy the variable in study. The aim of this study is map the effects of wildfire on the referred elements released from ash at microplot scale, testing several interpolation methods. 16 interpolation techniques were tested, Inverse Distance to a Weight (IDW), with the with the weights of 1,2, 3, 4 and 5, Local Polynomial, with the power of 1 (LP1) and 2 (LP2), Polynomial Regression (PR), Radial Basis Functions, especially, Spline With Tension (SPT), Completely Regularized Spline (CRS), Multiquadratic (MTQ), Inverse Multiquadratic (MTQ), and Thin Plate Spline (TPS). Also geostatistical methods were

  10. Operational Experience with Long Duration Wildfire Mapping: UAS Missions Over the Western United States

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Hall, Philip; Cobleigh, Brent; Buoni, Greg; Howell, Kathleen

    2008-01-01

    The National Aeronautics and Space Administration, United States Forest Service, and National Interagency Fire Center have developed a partnership to develop and demonstrate technology to improve airborne wildfire imaging and data dissemination. In the summer of 2007, a multi-spectral infrared scanner was integrated into NASA's Ikhana Unmanned Aircraft System (UAS) (a General Atomics Predator-B) and launched on four long duration wildfire mapping demonstration missions covering eight western states. Extensive safety analysis, contingency planning, and mission coordination were key to securing an FAA certificate of authorization (COA) to operate in the national airspace. Infrared images were autonomously geo-rectified, transmitted to the ground station by satellite communications, and networked to fire incident commanders within 15 minutes of acquisition. Close coordination with air traffic control ensured a safe operation, and allowed real-time redirection around inclement weather and other minor changes to the flight plan. All objectives of the mission demonstrations were achieved. In late October, wind-driven wildfires erupted in five southern California counties. State and national emergency operations agencies requested Ikhana to help assess and manage the wildfires. Four additional missions were launched over a 5-day period, with near realtime images delivered to multiple emergency operations centers and fire incident commands managing 10 fires.

  11. Quantifying the Influence of Hillslope Form, Aspect and Burn Severity on Post-Wildfire Hillslope Erosion Rates

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Perreault, L. M.; Yager, E. M.; Aalto, R. E.

    2010-12-01

    Wildfires can profoundly affect hillslope erosion rates by altering the physical and chemical attributes of the soil and denuding stabilizing vegetation. Increased hillslope erosion can raise stream channel sediment loads, which can change the channel morphology and impact aquatic habitat structure and downstream dam sedimentation. Current climate change predictions for the intermountain West forecast more frequent and severe droughts, and correspondingly more severe fire events, increasing the potential for post-fire erosion. Despite the widespread impacts of such erosion events, hillslope erosion processes remain poorly understood. Thus, to better understand these processes, we measure hillslope erosion rates in the mountainous terrain of central Idaho following a large, severe 2007 forest fire. Specifically, we use radionuclide (Lead-210, Cesium-137) inventories to quantify hillslope erosion rates in several watersheds with different burn severity (severe, moderate and unburned), on different aspects (north vs. south facing slopes), and on different hillslope forms (concave vs. convex profiles). In mid-latitude areas of high relief, aspect strongly influences the amount of solar radiation received and thus impacts local moisture conditions, vegetation and soil development, all of which can affect soil erosion rates. Hillslope form may influence the dominant erosion process, with convex profiles characterized by diffusive erosion, and concave profiles potentially enabling more overland flow, rill and gully formation. These variables, in addition to burn severity, are therefore likely to affect erosion rates. Our study quantifies the effect of burn severity, hillslope form, and aspect on the rates and processes of post-fire hillslope erosion. In addition, our study offers insight into the relatively novel use of radionuclide inventories to measure post-wildfire erosion rates. An improved quantitative understanding of hillslope erosion processes would enable us to

  12. Soil Carbon and Nitrogen Dynamics in Fire-Suppressed, Wildfire-Burned, and Prescribe-Burned Chaparral in the Sierra Nevada Foothills

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Norton, J. B.; Horwath, W. R.; Norton, U.

    2004-12-01

    Chaparral shrublands cover 13 percent of California's land area and are very dynamic, productive, and flammable. While chaparral supports potentially destructive stand-replacing fires that provide opportunity for rapid, large-scale vegetation manipulation for range management and fire hazard reduction, there has been little investigative work describing soil organic matter dynamics in chaparral. We report findings of research on vegetation cover and soil organic matter fractionation in passive, slow, and rapidly cycling pools under different fire history regimes and soil types in chamise-manzanita-toyon chaparral of the Sierra Nevada Foothills. We used detailed fire history overlays and soil-vegetation maps to identify five fire history scenarios: 1) long-term fire-suppressed; 2) 20-year wildfire frequency (1950-1972-1992); 3) four-year wildfire frequency (1997-2001); 4) one-time wildfire (2001); and 5) prescribed reburn (2001-2005-2006) where the management goal is to type convert dense, resprouting shrub cover to a grass-shrub mosaic in a strategic fire hazard reduction zone. We replicated these sampling areas on three soil types ubiquitous to Sierra Nevada Foothills chaparral: soil derived from residuum of granite, basic igneous and metamorphic rocks, and serpentine. Vegetation cover analysis shows that the four-year fire recurrence interval has significantly lower shrub cover and higher annual grass cover compared to all the other treatments. Results of vegetation cover analysis, soil organic carbon fractionation, estimates of microbially available carbon, and indices of potentially mineralizable nitrogen will be presented.

  13. Mapping burn severity in a disease-impacted forest landscape using Landsat and MASTER imagery

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chen, Gang; Metz, Margaret R.; Rizzo, David M.; Meentemeyer, Ross K.

    2015-08-01

    Global environmental change has increased forest vulnerability to the occurrence of interacting disturbances, including wildfires and invasive diseases. Mapping post-fire burn severity in a disease-affected forest often faces challenges because burned and infested trees may exhibit a high similarity in spectral reflectance. In this study, we combined (pre- and post-fire) Landsat imagery and (post-fire) high-spectral resolution airborne MASTER data [MODIS (moderate resolution imaging spectroradiometer)/ASTER (advanced spaceborne thermal emission and reflection radiometer)] to map burn severity in a California coastal forest environment, where a non-native forest disease sudden oak death (SOD) was causing substantial tree mortality. Results showed that the use of Landsat plus MASTER bundle performed better than using the individual sensors in most of the evaluated forest strata from ground to canopy layers (i.e., substrate, shrubs, intermediate-sized trees, dominant trees and average), with the best model performance achieved at the dominant tree layer. The mid to thermal infrared spectral bands (3.0-12.5 μm) from MASTER were found to augment Landsat's visible to shortwave infrared bands in burn severity assessment. We also found that infested and uninfested forests similarly experienced moderate to high degrees of burns where CBI (composite burn index) values were higher than 1. However, differences occurred in the regions with low burn severity (CBI values lower than 1), where uninfested stands revealed a much lower burn effect than that in infested stands, possibly due to their higher resilience to small fire disturbances as a result of higher leaf water content.

  14. Satellite data driven modeling system for predicting air quality and visibility during wildfire and prescribed burn events

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nair, U. S.; Keiser, K.; Wu, Y.; Maskey, M.; Berendes, D.; Glass, P.; Dhakal, A.; Christopher, S. A.

    2012-12-01

    The Alabama Forestry Commission (AFC) is responsible for wildfire control and also prescribed burn management in the state of Alabama. Visibility and air quality degradation resulting from smoke are two pieces of information that are crucial for this activity. Currently the tools available to AFC are the dispersion index available from the National Weather Service and also surface smoke concentrations. The former provides broad guidance for prescribed burning activities but does not provide specific information regarding smoke transport, areas affected and quantification of air quality and visibility degradation. While the NOAA operational air quality guidance includes surface smoke concentrations from existing fire events, it does not account for contributions from background aerosols, which are important for the southeastern region including Alabama. Also lacking is the quantification of visibility. The University of Alabama in Huntsville has developed a state-of-the-art integrated modeling system to address these concerns. This system based on the Community Air Quality Modeling System (CMAQ) that ingests satellite derived smoke emissions and also assimilates NASA MODIS derived aerosol optical thickness. In addition, this operational modeling system also simulates the impact of potential prescribed burn events based on location information derived from the AFC prescribed burn permit database. A lagrangian model is used to simulate smoke plumes for the prescribed burns requests. The combined air quality and visibility degradation resulting from these smoke plumes and background aerosols is computed and the information is made available through a web based decision support system utilizing open source GIS components. This system provides information regarding intersections between highways and other critical facilities such as old age homes, hospitals and schools. The system also includes satellite detected fire locations and other satellite derived datasets

  15. Mapping burn severity, pine beetle infestation, and their interaction at the High Park Fire

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Stone, Brandon

    North America's western forests are experiencing wildfire and mountain pine beetle (MPB) disturbances that are unprecedented in the historic record, but it remains unclear whether and how MPB infestation influences post-infestation fire behavior. The 2012 High Park Fire burned in an area that's estimated to have begun a MPB outbreak cycle within five years before the wildfire, resulting in a landscape in which disturbance interactions can be studied. A first step in studying these interactions is mapping regions of beetle infestation and post-fire disturbance. We implemented an approach for mapping beetle infestation and burn severity using as source data three 5 m resolution RapidEye satellite images (two pre-fire, one post-fire). A two-tiered methodology was developed to overcome the spatial limitations of many classification approaches through explicit analyses at both pixel and plot level. Major land cover classes were photo-interpreted at the plot-level and their spectral signature used to classify 5 m images. A new image was generated at 25 m resolution by tabulating the fraction of coincident 5 m pixels in each cover class. The original photo interpretation was then used to train a second classification using as its source image the new 25 m image. Maps were validated using k-fold analysis of the original photo interpretation, field data collected immediately post-fire, and publicly available classifications. To investigate the influence of pre-fire beetle infestation on burn severity within the High Park Fire, we fit a log-linear model of conditional independence to our thematic maps after controlling for forest cover class and slope aspect. Our analysis revealed a high co-occurrence of severe burning and beetle infestation within high elevation lodgepole pine stands, but did not find statistically significant evidence that infected stands were more likely to burn severely than similar uninfected stands. Through an inspection of the year-to-year changes in

  16. Mapping the Distribution of Wildfire Fuels Using AVIRIS in the Santa Monica Mountains

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Roberts, Dar; Gardner, M.; Regelbrugge, J.; Pedreros, D.; Ustin, S.

    1998-01-01

    Catastrophic wildfires, such as the 1990 Painted Cave Fire in Santa Barbara or Oakland fire of 1991, attest to the destructive potential of fire in the wildland/urban interface. For example, during the Painted Cave Fire, 673 structures were consumed over a period of only six hours at an estimated cost of 250 million dollars (Gomes et al., 1993). One of the primary sources of fuels is chaparral, which consists of plant species that are adapted to frequent fires and may actually promote its ignition and spread of through volatile organic compounds in foliage. As one of the most widely distributed plant communities in Southern California, and one of the most common vegetation types along the wildland urban interface, chaparral represents one of the greatest sources of wildfire hazard in the region. An ongoing NASA funded research project was initiated in 1994 to study the potential of AVIRIS for mapping wildfire fuel properties in Southern California chaparral. The project was initiated in the Santa Monica Mountains, an east-west trending range in western Los Angeles County that has experienced extremely high fire frequencies over the past 70 years. The Santa Monica Mountains were selected because they exemplify many of the problems facing the southwest, forming a complex mosaic of land ownership intermixed with a diversity of chaparral age classes and fuel loads. Furthermore, the area has a wide diversity of chaparral community types and a rich background in supporting geographic information including fire history, soils and topography. Recent fires in the Santa Monica Mountains, including several in 1993 and the Calabasas fire of 1996 attest to the active fire regime present in the area. The long term objectives of this project are to improve existing maps of wildland fuel properties in the area, link AVIRIS derived products to fuel models under development for the region, then predict fire hazard through models that simulate fire spread. In this paper, we describe

  17. Charring temperatures are driven by the fuel types burned in a peatland wildfire

    PubMed Central

    Hudspith, Victoria A.; Belcher, Claire M.; Yearsley, Jonathan M.

    2014-01-01

    Peatlands represent a globally important carbon store; however, the human exploitation of this ecosystem is increasing both the frequency and severity of fires on drained peatlands. Yet, the interactions between the hydrological conditions (ecotopes), the fuel types being burned, the burn severity, and the charring temperatures (pyrolysis intensity) remain poorly understood. Here we present a post-burn assessment of a fire on a lowland raised bog in Co. Offaly, Ireland (All Saints Bog). Three burn severities were identified in the field (light, moderate, and deeply burned), and surface charcoals were taken from 17 sites across all burn severities. Charcoals were classified into two fuel type categories (either ground or aboveground fuel) and the reflectance of each charcoal particle was measured under oil using reflectance microscopy. Charcoal reflectance shows a positive relationship with charring temperature and as such can be used as a temperature proxy to reconstruct minimum charring temperatures after a fire event. Resulting median reflectance values for ground fuels are 1.09 ± 0.32%Romedian, corresponding to estimated minimum charring temperatures of 447°C ± 49°C. In contrast, the median charring temperatures of aboveground fuels were found to be considerably higher, 646°C ± 73°C (3.58 ± 0.77%Romedian). A mixed-effects modeling approach was used to demonstrate that the interaction effects of burn severity, as well as ecotope classes, on the charcoal reflectance is small compared to the main effect of fuel type. Our findings reveal that the different fuel types on raised bogs are capable of charring at different temperatures within the same fire, and that the pyrolysis intensity of the fire on All Saints Bog was primarily driven by the fuel types burning, with only a weak association to the burn severity or ecotope classes. PMID:25566288

  18. Mapping and monitoring cropland burning in European Russia: a multi-sensor approach

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hall, J.; Loboda, T. V.; Mccarty, G.; McConnell, L.; Woldemariam, T.

    2013-12-01

    Short lived aerosols and pollutants transported from high northern latitudes have amplified the short term warming in the Arctic region. Specifically, black carbon (BC) is recognized as the second most important human emission in regards to climate forcing, behind carbon dioxide with a total climate forcing of +1.1Wm-2. Early studies have suggested that cropland burning may be a high contributor to the BC emissions which are directly deposited above the Arctic Circle. However, accurate monitoring of cropland burning from existing active fire and burned area products is limited. Most existing algorithms are focused on mapping hotter and larger wildfire events. The timing of cropland burning differs from wildfire events and their transient nature adds a further challenge to the product development. In addition, the analysis of multi-year cloud cover over Russian croplands, using the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) daily surface reflectance data showed that on average early afternoon observations from MODIS/ Aqua provided 68 clear views per growing period (defined 1st March 2003 - 30th November 2012) with a range from 30 to 101 clear views; whereas MODIS/Terra provided 75 clear views per growing period (defined 1st March 2001 - 30th November 2012) with a range from 37 to 113 clear views. Here we present a new approach to burned area mapping in croplands from satellite imagery. Our algorithm is designed to detect burned area only within croplands and does not have the requirements to perform well outside those. The algorithm focuses on tracking the natural intra-annual development curve specific for crops rather than natural vegetation and works by identifying the subtle spectral nuances between varieties of cropland field categories. Using a combination of the high visual accuracy from very high resolution (VHR, defined as spatial resolution < 5m) imagery and the temporal trend of MODIS data, we are able to differentiate between burned and plowed

  19. Prescribed-burning vs. wildfire: management implications for annual carbon emissions along a latitudinal gradient of Calluna vulgaris-dominated vegetation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Santana, V. M.; Alday, J. G.; Lee, H.; Allen, K. A.; Marrs, R. H.

    2015-11-01

    A~present challenge in fire ecology is to optimize management techniques so that ecological services are maximized and C emissions minimized. Here, we model the effects of different prescribed-burning rotation intervals and wildfires on carbon emissions (present and future) in British moorlands. Biomass-accumulation curves from four Calluna-dominated ecosystems along a north-south, climatic gradient in Great Britain were calculated and used within a matrix-model based on Markov Chains to calculate above-ground biomass-loads, and annual C losses under different prescribed-burning rotation intervals. Additionally, we assessed the interaction of these parameters with an increasing wildfire return interval. We observed that litter accumulation patterns varied along the latitudinal gradient, with differences between northern (colder and wetter) and southern sites (hotter and drier). The accumulation patterns of the living vegetation dominated by Calluna were determined by site-specific conditions. The optimal prescribed-burning rotation interval for minimizing annual carbon losses also differed between sites: the rotation interval for northern sites was between 30 and 50 years, whereas for southern sites a hump-backed relationship was found with the optimal interval either between 8 to 10 years or between 30 to 50 years. Increasing wildfire frequency interacted with prescribed-burning rotation intervals by both increasing C emissions and modifying the optimum prescribed-burning interval for C minimum emission. This highlights the importance of studying site-specific biomass accumulation patterns with respect to environmental conditions for identifying suitable fire-rotation intervals to minimize C losses.

  20. National Scale Operational Mapping of Burnt Areas as a Tool for the Better Understanding of Contemporary Wildfire Patterns and Regimes

    PubMed Central

    Kontoes, Charalampos; Keramitsoglou, Iphigenia; Papoutsis, Ioannis; Sifakis, Nicolas I.; Xofis, Panteleimon

    2013-01-01

    This paper presents the results of an operational nationwide burnt area mapping service realized over Greece for the years 2007–2011, through the implementation of the so-called BSM_NOA dedicated method developed at the National Observatory of Athens for post-fire recovery management. The method exploits multispectral satellite imagery, such as Landsat-TM, SPOT, FORMOSAT-2, WorldView and IKONOS. The analysis of fire size distribution reveals that a high number of fire events evolve to large and extremely large wildfires under favorable wildfire conditions, confirming the reported trend of an increasing fire-severity in recent years. Furthermore, under such conditions wildfires affect to a higher degree areas at high altitudes, threatening the existence of ecologically significant ecosystems. Finally, recent socioeconomic changes and land abandonment has resulted in the encroachment of former agricultural areas of limited productivity by shrubs and trees, resulting both in increased fuel availability and continuity, and subsequently increased burnability. PMID:23966201

  1. National scale operational mapping of burnt areas as a tool for the better understanding of contemporary wildfire patterns and regimes.

    PubMed

    Kontoes, Charalampos; Keramitsoglou, Iphigenia; Papoutsis, Ioannis; Sifakis, Nicolas I; Xofis, Panteleimon

    2013-01-01

    This paper presents the results of an operational nationwide burnt area mapping service realized over Greece for the years 2007-2011, through the implementation of the so-called BSM_NOA dedicated method developed at the National Observatory of Athens for post-fire recovery management. The method exploits multispectral satellite imagery, such as Landsat-TM, SPOT, FORMOSAT-2, WorldView and IKONOS. The analysis of fire size distribution reveals that a high number of fire events evolve to large and extremely large wildfires under favorable wildfire conditions, confirming the reported trend of an increasing fire-severity in recent years. Furthermore, under such conditions wildfires affect to a higher degree areas at high altitudes, threatening the existence of ecologically significant ecosystems. Finally, recent socioeconomic changes and land abandonment has resulted in the encroachment of former agricultural areas of limited productivity by shrubs and trees, resulting both in increased fuel availability and continuity, and subsequently increased burnability. PMID:23966201

  2. Spectral Characterization of Agricultural Burned Areas for Satellite Mapping

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Boren, Erik J.

    Burned area detection with remotely sensed satellite data in agricultural landscapes is not only necessary for the estimation of global biomass burning emissions, but also has gained attention from managers interested in improved methods for the quantification of local scale emissions which affect air quality and human health. Mapping agricultural burned areas accurately, precisely and reliably, with methods that can be applied globally, is difficult because of the spectral and temporal characteristics of agricultural regions and prescribed cropland fires. These challenges have not been fully addressed by the scientific literature. Chapter 1 of this thesis presents an extensive literature review on the methods currently used for agricultural burned area mapping. Chapter 2 presents original research on the spectral characterization of agricultural burned areas, using field data and mixture models to analyze the response of spectral indices to the changes induced by fire and agricultural practices. The conclusions summarize the significance of the presented research for understanding the potential and limits of satellite data for agricultural burned area monitoring, and outline the directions for future work.

  3. Using MODIS imagery to assign dates to maps of burn scars in Portugal

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    DaCamara, C. C.; Libonati, R.; Barros, A.; Gaspar, G.; Calado, T. J.

    2012-04-01

    In the European context, Portugal presents the highest number of fire occurrences and has the largest area affected by wildfires. Like other southern regions of Europe, Portugal has experienced a dramatic increase in fire incidence during the last few decades that has been attributed to modifications in land-use as well as to climatic changes and associated occurrence of weather extremes. Wildfire activity also presents a large inter-annual variability that has been related to changes in the frequency of occurrence of atmospheric conditions favorable to the onset and spreading of large-fires. Since 1990, the Portuguese Authority for Forests (AFN) has been producing yearly maps of fire perimeters under a protocol with the Department of Forest Engineering of the Institute of Agronomy (DEF/ISA). The AFN fire atlas uses end of fire season Landsat TM/ETM imagery to map all fire perimeters with area larger than 5ha. Because it relies on end-of-season imagery, the atlas provides a spatial snapshot of the yearly area burned, and dates of burn for individual events cannot be estimated. Such information is nevertheless crucial to understand the fire regime and fire seasonality and to disentangle the complex interactions among fire, land cover and meteorology. The aim of the present work is to develop an automated procedure that allows using time series of moderate resolution imagery, such as the one provided by the MODIS instrument on-board TERRA and AQUA, to assign dates of burning to scars larger than 500 ha in the Landsat based fire atlas. The procedure relies on the so-called (V,W) burned index that uses daily reflectance obtained from the 1km MODIS Level 1B calibrated radiance from bands 2 (NIR) and 20 (MIR). The algorithm detects persistent changes in the (V,W) burned index time series, within each Landsat burned scar. The day of maximum change is then identified by means of a discrimination index, together with thresholds from the (V,W) time series. A spatial filter

  4. An Evaluation of Image Based Techniques for Early Wildfire Detection and Fuel Mapping

    SciTech Connect

    Gabbert, Dustin W.

    2015-05-01

    Few events can cause the catastrophic impact to ecology, infrastructure, and human safety of a wildland fire along the wildland urban interface. The suppression of natural wildland fires over the past decade has caused a buildup of dry, dead surface fuels: a condition that, coupled with the right weather conditions, can cause large destructive wildfires that are capable of threatening both ancient tree stands and manmade infrastructure. Firefighters use fire danger models to determine staffing needs on high fire risk days; however models are only as effective as the spatial and temporal density of their observations. OKFIRE, an Oklahoma initiative created by a partnership between Oklahoma State University and the University of Oklahoma, has proven that fire danger assessments close to the fire – both geographically and temporally – can give firefighters a significant increase in their situational awareness while fighting a wildland fire. This paper investigates several possible solutions for a small Unmanned Aerial System (UAS) which could gather information useful for detecting ground fires and constructing fire danger maps. Multiple fire detection and fuel mapping programs utilize satellites, manned aircraft, and large UAS equipped with hyperspectral sensors to gather useful information. Their success provides convincing proof of the utility that could be gained from low-altitude UAS gathering information at the exact time and place firefighters and land managers are interested in. Close proximity, both geographically and operationally, to the end can reduce latency times below what could ever be possible with satellite observation. This paper expands on recent advances in computer vision, photogrammetry, and infrared and color imagery to develop a framework for a next-generation UAS which can assess fire danger and aid firefighters in real time as they observe, contain, or extinguish wildland fires. It also investigates the impact information gained by this

  5. Analysis and mapping of post-fire hydrologic hazards for the 2002 Hayman, Coal Seam, and Missionary Ridge wildfires, Colorado

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Elliott, J.G.; Smith, M.E.; Friedel, M.J.; Stevens, M.R.; Bossong, C.R.; Litke, D.W.; Parker, R.S.; Costello, C.; Wagner, J.; Char, S.J.; Bauer, M.A.; Wilds, S.R.

    2005-01-01

    Wildfires caused extreme changes in the hydrologic, hydraulic, and geomorphologic characteristics of many Colorado drainage basins in the summer of 2002. Detailed assessments were made of the short-term effects of three wildfires on burned and adjacent unburned parts of drainage basins. These were the Hayman, Coal Seam, and Missionary Ridge wildfires. Longer term runoff characteristics that reflect post-fire drainage basin recovery expected to develop over a period of several years also were analyzed for two affected stream reaches: the South Platte River between Deckers and Trumbull, and Mitchell Creek in Glenwood Springs. The 10-, 50-, 100-, and 500-year flood-plain boundaries and water-surface profiles were computed in a detailed hydraulic study of the Deckers-to-Trumbull reach. The Hayman wildfire burned approximately 138,000 acres (216 square miles) in granitic terrain near Denver, and the predominant potential hazard in this area is flooding by sediment-laden water along the large tributaries to and the main stem of the South Platte River. The Coal Seam wildfire burned approximately 12,200 acres (19.1 square miles) near Glenwood Springs, and the Missionary Ridge wildfire burned approximately 70,500 acres (110 square miles) near Durango, both in areas underlain by marine shales where the predominant potential hazard is debris-flow inundation of low-lying areas. Hydrographs and peak discharges for pre-burn and post-burn scenarios were computed for each drainage basin and tributary subbasin by using rainfall-runoff models because streamflow data for most tributary subbasins were not available. An objective rainfall-runoff model calibration method based on nonlinear regression and referred to as the ?objective calibration method? was developed and applied to rainfall-runoff models for three burned areas. The HEC-1 rainfall-runoff model was used to simulate the pre-burn rainfall-runoff processes in response to the 100-year storm, and HEC-HMS was used for runoff

  6. Compounding nonlinearities in the climate and wildfire system contribute to high uncertainty in estimates of future burned area in the western United State

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Williams, P.

    2015-12-01

    Ecological studies are increasingly recognizing the importance of atmospheric vapor-pressure deficit (VPD) as a driver of forest drought stress and disturbance processes such as wildfire. Because of the nonlinear Clausius-Clapeyron relationship between temperature and saturation vapor pressure, small variations in temperature can have large impacts on VPD, and therefore drought, particularly in warm, dry areas and particularly during the warm season. It is also clear that VPD and drought affect forest fire nonlinearly, as incremental drying leads to increasingly large burned areas. Forest fire is also affected by fuel amount and connectivity, which are promoted by vegetation growth in previous years, which is in turn promoted by lack of drought, highlighting the importance of nuances in the sequencing of natural interannual climate variations in modulating the impacts of drought on wildfire. The many factors affecting forest fire, and the nonlinearities embedded within the climate and wildfire systems, cause interannual variability in forest-fire area and frequency to be wildly variable and strongly affected by internal climate variability. In addition, warming over the past century has produced a background increase in forest fire frequency and area in many regions. In this talk I focus on the western United States and will explore whether the relationships between internal climate variability on forest fire area have been amplified by the effects of warming as a result of the compounding nonlinearities described above. I will then explore what this means for future burned area in the western United States and make the case that uncertainties in the future global greenhouse gas emissions trajectory, model projections of mean temperatures, model projections of precipitation, and model projections of natural climate variability translate to very large uncertainties in the effects of future climate variability on forest fire area in the United States and globally.

  7. Mapping erosion-sensitive areas after wildfires using fieldwork, remote sensing, and geographic information systems techniques on a regional scale

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    PéRez-Cabello, F.; de La Riva FernáNdez, J.; Montorio LloveríA, R.; GarcíA-MartíN, A.

    2006-12-01

    Alterations in the hydrological cycle following wildfire due to the loss of ground cover vegetation and changes in soil properties have been documented in many studies. Nevertheless, the rapid process of vegetation recovery reduces such negative effects. Vegetation cover before fire, fire severity, and geophysical properties are important factors that control spatial discontinuities involved in the vegetation-covering process. The objective of this study was to estimate the probability of high erosion in order to map erosion-sensitive areas after fire. The analysis was carried out in different plant communities burnt by summer wildfires in the pre-Pyrenean area (Spain). Three-year Landsat Thematic Mapper (TM) images have been used for mapping wildfire areas and severity levels. Conversion to spectral reflectance has been applied for radiometric correction by normalizing topographic and atmospheric effects. Likewise, other physical variables have also been incorporated into the geographic information system (GIS): vegetation types, parent material, illumination, slope, aspect, and precipitation. The dependent variable has been characterized by means of fieldwork and a photointerpretation process based on high-resolution digital aerial orthophotographs taken 11-12 years after the fire. Different logistic regression models have been used for mapping the probability of erosion. Results indicate that prefire normalized difference vegetation index values and aspect are the most important variables for estimating erosion-sensitive areas after fire (Nagelkerke r2 = 0.66; Kappa values = 0.65). Finally, the use of nonparametric models with environmental digital information based on GIS can facilitate the management of burnt areas.

  8. Mapping burned area for fragmented landscape using satellite Aster data

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Vita, A.; Lanorte, A.

    2009-04-01

    In Italy, after each fire season (generally summer season for the southern Mediterranean landscapes and winter/spring for the Northern alpine ecosystems) the up to date of burned area mapping is mandatory according to the current national legislation. The mapping of burned areas is generally performed by regional forestry service by using field GPS survey and/or helicopter in the case of large fire extension. The use of remote sensing technologies can be an effective support for mapping fire affected areas. Such areas are characterized by the removal of vegetation, deposits of charcoal and ash, and alteration of the vegetation structure, that can be detected by satellite remote sensed data. Due to the fact that in Italy the extension of fire is generally as small as 10 ha to 50 ha the use of high resolution data is mandatory. In order to set up a low cost technologies to be effectively applied in operational context, we assessed the capability of ASTER data for same test areas in the Basilicata Region. In this paper we present results we obtained from the use of several Vegetation indices based on ASTER VNIR. Among the spectral indices proposed for burnt area mapping we used and compare the Simple Vegetation Index, the Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI, the Transformed Vegetation Index, and Soil Adjusted Vegetation Index (SAVI). The data processing was performed using both a single date and a multidate (pre and post fire) approach. Several test cases selected from the 2007 fire season were investigated. ASTER-based results were compared with field data provided by the Basilicata regional Forestry Service

  9. Health Impacts of Wildfires

    PubMed Central

    Finlay, Sarah Elise; Moffat, Andrew; Gazzard, Rob; Baker, David; Murray, Virginia

    2012-01-01

    Introduction Wildfires are common globally. Although there has been considerable work done on the health effects of wildfires in countries such as the USA where they occur frequently there has been relatively little work to investigate health effects in the United Kingdom. Climate change may increase the risk of increasing wildfire frequency, therefore there is an urgent need to further understand the health effects and public awareness of wildfires. This study was designed to review current evidence about the health effects of wildfires from the UK standpoint. Methods A comprehensive literature review of international evidence regarding wildfire related health effects was conducted in January 2012. Further information was gathered from authors’ focus groups. Results A review of the published evidence shows that human health can be severely affected by wildfires. Certain populations are particularly vulnerable. Wood smoke has high levels of particulate matter and toxins. Respiratory morbidity predominates, but cardiovascular, ophthalmic and psychiatric problems can also result. In addition severe burns resulting from direct contact with the fire require care in special units and carry a risk of multi – organ complications. The wider health implications from spreading air, water and land pollution are of concern. Access to affected areas and communication with populations living within them is crucial in mitigating risk. Conclusion This study has identified factors that may reduce public health risk from wildfires. However more research is needed to evaluate longer term health effects from wildfires. An understanding of such factors is vital to ensure preparedness within health care services for such events. PMID:23145351

  10. EVOLUTIONARY COMPUTATION AND POST-WILDFIRE LAND-COVER MAPPING WITH MULTISPECTRAL IMAGERY.

    SciTech Connect

    Brumby, Steven P.; Koch, S. W.; Hansen, L. A.

    2001-01-01

    The Cerro Grande Los Alamos wildfire devastated approximately 43,000 acres (17,500 ha) of forested land, and destroyed over 200 structures in the town of Los Alamos. The need to monitor the continuing impact of the fire on the local environment has led to the application of a number of advanced remote sensing technologies. During and after the fire, remote-sensing data was acquired fiorn a variety of aircraft- and satellite-based sensors, including Landsat 7 Enhanced Thematic Mapper (ETM+). We now report on the application of a machine learning technique io the automated classification of land cover using multispectral imagery. We apply a hybrid gertelic programminghupervised classification technique to evolve automatic feature extraction algorithms. We use a software package we have developed at Los Alamos National Laboratory, called GENIE, to carry out this evolution. We use multispectral imagery fiom the Landsat 7 ETM+ instrument fiom before and after the wildfire. Using an existing land cover classification based on a Landsat 5 TM scene for our training data, we evolve algorithms that distinguish a range of land cover categories, along with clouds and cloud shadows. The details of our evolved classification are compared to the manually produced land-cover classification. Keywords: Feature Extraction, Genetic programming, Supervised classification, Multi-spectral imagery, Land cover, Wildfire.

  11. Burns

    MedlinePlus

    ... doing so puts you in danger as well. Chemical and Electrical Burns For chemical and electrical burns, call 911 or your local ... the power source has been turned off. For chemical burns: Dry chemicals should be brushed off the ...

  12. Evolutionary computation and post-wildfire land-cover mapping with multispectral imagery

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Brumby, Steven P.; Koch, Steven; Hansen, Leslie A.

    2002-01-01

    The Cerro Grande/Los Alamos wildfire devastated approximately 43,000 acres (17,500 ha) of forested land, and destroyed over 200 structures in the town of Los Alamos. The need to monitor the continuing impact of the fire on the local environment has led to the application of a number of advanced remote sensing technologies. During and after the fire, remote-sensing data was acquired from a variety of aircraft- and satellite-based sensors, including Landsat 7 Enhanced Thematic Mapper (ETM+). We now report on the application of a machine learning technique to the automated classification of land cover using multispectral imagery. We apply a hybrid genetic programming/supervised classification technique to evolve automatic feature extraction algorithms. We use a software package we have developed at Los Alamos National Laboratory, called GENIE, to carry out this evolution. We use multispectral imagery from the Landsat 7 ETM+ instrument from before and after the wildfire. Using an existing land cover classification based on a Landsat 5 TM scene for our training data, we evolve algorithms that distinguish a range of land cover categories, along with clouds and cloud shadows. The details of our evolved classification are compared to the manually produced land-cover classification.

  13. Evaluation of wildfire patterns at the wildland-urban fringe across the continental U.S.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kinoshita, A. M.; Hogue, T. S.

    2014-12-01

    Wildfires threaten ecosystems and urban development across the United States, posing significant implications for land management and natural processes such as watershed hydrology. This study investigates the spatial association between large wildfires and urbanization. Several geospatial dataset are combined to map wildfires (Monitoring Trends in Burn Severity for 1984 to 2012) and housing density (SILVIS Lab Spatial Analysis for Conservation and Sustainability decadal housing density for 1940 to 2030) relative to natural wildlands across the contiguous U.S. Several buffers (i.e. 25 km) are developed around wildlands (Protected Areas Database of the United States) to quantify the change and relationship in spatial fire and housing density patterns. Since 1984, wildfire behavior is cyclical and follows general climatology, where warmer years have more and larger fires. Ignition locations also follow transportation corridors and development which provide easy accessibility to wildlands. In California, both fire frequency and total acres burned exhibit increasing trends (statistically significant at 95%). The 1980s average wildfire frequency and total acres burned was 3100 fires and approximately 1200 km2, respectively. These numbers have increased to 2200 fires and over 1500 km2 in the 2010 to 2012 period alone. Initial observations also show that decennial population and area burned for four major Californian counties (Los Angeles, San Bernardino, San Diego, and Shasta) show strong correlation between the last decade of burned area, urban-fringe proximity, and urbanization trends. Improving our understanding of human induced wildfire regimes provides key information on urban fringe communities most vulnerable to the wildfire risks and can help inform regional development planning.

  14. Wildfire Decision Making Under Uncertainty

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Thompson, M.

    2013-12-01

    Decisions relating to wildfire management are subject to multiple sources of uncertainty, and are made by a broad range of individuals, across a multitude of environmental and socioeconomic contexts. In this presentation I will review progress towards identification and characterization of uncertainties and how this information can support wildfire decision-making. First, I will review a typology of uncertainties common to wildfire management, highlighting some of the more salient sources of uncertainty and how they present challenges to assessing wildfire risk. This discussion will cover the expanding role of burn probability modeling, approaches for characterizing fire effects, and the role of multi-criteria decision analysis, and will provide illustrative examples of integrated wildfire risk assessment across a variety of planning scales. Second, I will describe a related uncertainty typology that focuses on the human dimensions of wildfire management, specifically addressing how social, psychological, and institutional factors may impair cost-effective risk mitigation. This discussion will encompass decision processes before, during, and after fire events, with a specific focus on active management of complex wildfire incidents. An improved ability to characterize uncertainties faced in wildfire management could lead to improved delivery of decision support, targeted communication strategies, and ultimately to improved wildfire management outcomes.

  15. Comparison between satellite wildfire databases in Europe

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Amraoui, Malik; Pereira, Mário; DaCamara, Carlos

    2013-04-01

    For Europe, several databases of wildfires based on the satellite imagery are currently available and being used to conduct various studies and produce official reports. The European Forest Fire Information System (EFFIS) burned area perimeters database comprises fires with burnt area greater than 1.0 ha occurred in the Europe countries during the 2000 - 2011 period. The MODIS Burned Area Product (MCD45A1) is a monthly global Level 3 gridded 500m product containing per-pixel burning, quality information, and tile-level metadata. The Burned Area Product was developed by the MODIS Fire Team at the University of Maryland and is available April 2000 onwards. Finally, for Portugal the National Forest Authority (AFN) discloses the national mapping of burned areas of the years 1990 to 2011, based on Landsat imagery which accounts for fires larger than 5.0 ha. This study main objectives are: (i) provide a comprehensive description of the datasets, its limitations and potential; (ii) do preliminary statistics on the data; and, (iii) to compare the MODIS and EFFIS satellite wildfires databases throughout/across the entire European territory, based on indicators such as the spatial location of the burned areas and the extent of area burned annually and complement the analysis for Portugal will the inclusion of database AFN. This work is supported by European Union Funds (FEDER/COMPETE - Operational Competitiveness Programme) and by national funds (FCT - Portuguese Foundation for Science and Technology) under the project FCOMP-01-0124-FEDER-022692, the project FLAIR (PTDC/AAC-AMB/104702/2008) and the EU 7th Framework Program through FUME (contract number 243888).

  16. Wind erosion from a sagebrush steppe burned by wildfire: measurements of PM10 and total horizontal sediment flux

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Wagenbrenner, Natalie S.; Germino, Matthew J.; Lamb, Brian K.; Robichaud, Peter R.; Foltz, Randy B.

    2013-01-01

    above the soil surface, had a maximum PM10 vertical flux of 100 mg m-2 s-1, and generated a large dust plume that was visible in satellite imagery. The peak PM10 concentration measured on-site at a height of 2 m in the downwind portion of the burned area was 690 mg m-3. Our results indicate that wildfire can convert a relatively stable landscape into one that is a major dust source.

  17. Wildfire Risk Mapping over the State of Mississippi: Land Surface Modeling Approach

    SciTech Connect

    Cooke, William H.; Mostovoy, Georgy; Anantharaj, Valentine G; Jolly, W. Matt

    2012-01-01

    Three fire risk indexes based on soil moisture estimates were applied to simulate wildfire probability over the southern part of Mississippi using the logistic regression approach. The fire indexes were retrieved from: (1) accumulated difference between daily precipitation and potential evapotranspiration (P-E); (2) top 10 cm soil moisture content simulated by the Mosaic land surface model; and (3) the Keetch-Byram drought index (KBDI). The P-E, KBDI, and soil moisture based indexes were estimated from gridded atmospheric and Mosaic-simulated soil moisture data available from the North American Land Data Assimilation System (NLDAS-2). Normalized deviations of these indexes from the 31-year mean (1980-2010) were fitted into the logistic regression model describing probability of wildfires occurrence as a function of the fire index. It was assumed that such normalization provides more robust and adequate description of temporal dynamics of soil moisture anomalies than the original (not normalized) set of indexes. The logistic model parameters were evaluated for 0.25 x0.25 latitude/longitude cells and for probability representing at least one fire event occurred during 5 consecutive days. A 23-year (1986-2008) forest fires record was used. Two periods were selected and examined (January mid June and mid September December). The application of the logistic model provides an overall good agreement between empirical/observed and model-fitted fire probabilities over the study area during both seasons. The fire risk indexes based on the top 10 cm soil moisture and KBDI have the largest impact on the wildfire odds (increasing it by almost 2 times in response to each unit change of the corresponding fire risk index during January mid June period and by nearly 1.5 times during mid September-December) observed over 0.25 x0.25 cells located along the state of Mississippi Coast line. This result suggests a rather strong control of fire risk indexes on fire occurrence probability

  18. Physicochemical characterization of aged biomass burning aerosol after long-range transport to Greece from large scale wildfires in Russia and surrounding regions, Summer 2010

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Diapouli, E.; Popovicheva, O.; Kistler, M.; Vratolis, S.; Persiantseva, N.; Timofeev, M.; Kasper-Giebl, A.; Eleftheriadis, K.

    2014-10-01

    Smoke aerosol emitted by large scale wildfires in the European part of Russia and Ukraine, was transported to Athens, Greece during August 2010 and detected at an urban background site. Measurements were conducted for physico-chemical characterization of the aged aerosol and included on-line monitoring of PM10 and carbonaceous particles mass concentrations, as well as number size distributions and aerosol optical properties. In addition TSP filter samples were analyzed for major inorganic ions, while morphology and composition of particles was studied by individual particle analysis. Results supported the long-range transport of smoke plumes from Ukraine and Russia burning areas indicated by back trajectory analysis. An increase of 50% and 40% on average in organic (OC) and elemental carbon (EC) concentrations respectively, and more than 95% in carbonate carbon (CC) levels was observed for the biomass burning (BB) transport period of August with respect to the previous month of July. Mean 24-h OC/EC ratio was found in the range 3.2-8.5. Single scattering albedo (SSA) was also increased, indicating abundance of light scattering constituents and/or shift of size distributions towards larger particles. Increase in particle size was further supported by a decreasing trend in absorption Angström exponent (AAE). Ion analysis showed major contribution of secondary species (ammonium sulfate and nitrate) and soil components (Ca2+, Mg2+). Non-sea salt K+ exhibited very good correlation with secondary species, indicating the long-range transport of BB smoke as a possible common source. Individual particle analysis of the samples collected during BB-transport event in Athens revealed elevated number of soot externally mixed with fly ash Ca-rich particles. This result is in agreement with the increased OC and CC levels measured, thus pointing towards the main components comprising the aged BB aerosol microstructure.

  19. Desertification and other ecological impacts produced by the historic Rodeo-Chediski Wildfire of 2000, Arizona, USA

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Neary, D.; Ffolliott, P.; Stropki, C.

    2009-04-01

    The Rodeo-Chediski Wildfire - the largest in Arizona's history - damaged or destroyed ecosystem resources and disrupted ecosystem functioning in a largely mosaic pattern throughout the ponderosa pine (Pinus ponderosa) forests exposed to the burn. Impacts of this wildfire on tree overstories were studied on two watersheds in the area burned; one watershed burned by a high severity (stand-replacing) fire, while the other watershed burned by a low severity (stand-modifying) fire. The Rodeo-Chediski wildfire damaged or destroyed ecosystem resources and disrupted the ecological functioning on much of the 189,015 ha impacted by the burning. Intermingling chaparral shrub communities and pinyon-juniper woodlands at lower elevations and ponderosa pine forests at high elevations were located within the burned area. The wildfire was caused by two human ignitions that merged into one inferno. The Rodeo Fire was started by an arsonist on June 18, 2002, while the Chediski Fire was ignited as a signal fire by a stranded motorist on June 20th. The two fires merged on June 26, 2002, to become the Rodeo-Chediski Wildfire. The combined wildfires were contained on July 7th at a suppression (firefighting) cost of about €37.9 million (USA 50 million). However, the estimated costs associated with property losses; losses of ecosystem, anthropological, and cultural resources; and post-fire rehabilitation efforts increased the costs of the wildfire to over €114 million (USA 150 million). About one-half of the total area that was burned by the Rodeo-Chediski Wildfire experienced a high-severity fire, other areas burned at a low- to medium-severity fire, and still other areas were largely unburned according to a Burned Area Emergency Rehabilitation (BAER) report and fire severity map prepared shortly after containment of the wildfire. A mosaic of areas burned at varying fire severities within intermingling unburned areas resulted. Post-fire rehabilitation efforts, including establishment

  20. Is proportion burned severely related to daily area burned?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Birch, Donovan S.; Morgan, Penelope; Kolden, Crystal A.; Hudak, Andrew T.; Smith, Alistair M. S.

    2014-05-01

    The ecological effects of forest fires burning with high severity are long-lived and have the greatest impact on vegetation successional trajectories, as compared to low-to-moderate severity fires. The primary drivers of high severity fire are unclear, but it has been hypothesized that wind-driven, large fire-growth days play a significant role, particularly on large fires in forested ecosystems. Here, we examined the relative proportion of classified burn severity for individual daily areas burned that occurred during 42 large forest fires in central Idaho and western Montana from 2005 to 2007 and 2011. Using infrared perimeter data for wildfires with five or more consecutive days of mapped perimeters, we delineated 2697 individual daily areas burned from which we calculated the proportions of each of three burn severity classes (high, moderate, and low) using the differenced normalized burn ratio as mapped for large fires by the Monitoring Trends in Burn Severity project. We found that the proportion of high burn severity was weakly correlated (Kendall τ = 0.299) with size of daily area burned (DAB). Burn severity was highly variable, even for the largest (95th percentile) in DAB, suggesting that other variables than fire extent influence the ecological effects of fires. We suggest that these results do not support the prioritization of large runs during fire rehabilitation efforts, since the underlying assumption in this prioritization is a positive relationship between severity and area burned in a day.

  1. Wildfire Awareness.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Wallace, Glenda

    2002-01-01

    Provides information about the Firewise Program whose goal is to assist people to become more fire-aware and better prepared for the effects of wildfire on property. Discusses why there are so many wildfires and what can be done. Includes the Wildland Fire Risk and Hazard Severity Assessment Form. (KHR)

  2. Wildfire Risk Assessment in a Typical Mediterranean Wildland-Urban Interface of Greece

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mitsopoulos, Ioannis; Mallinis, Giorgos; Arianoutsou, Margarita

    2015-04-01

    The purpose of this study was to assess spatial wildfire risk in a typical Mediterranean wildland-urban interface (WUI) in Greece and the potential effect of three different burning condition scenarios on the following four major wildfire risk components: burn probability, conditional flame length, fire size, and source-sink ratio. We applied the Minimum Travel Time fire simulation algorithm using the FlamMap and ArcFuels tools to characterize the potential response of the wildfire risk to a range of different burning scenarios. We created site-specific fuel models of the study area by measuring the field fuel parameters in representative natural fuel complexes, and we determined the spatial extent of the different fuel types and residential structures in the study area using photointerpretation procedures of large scale natural color orthophotographs. The results included simulated spatially explicit fire risk components along with wildfire risk exposure analysis and the expected net value change. Statistical significance differences in simulation outputs between the scenarios were obtained using Tukey's significance test. The results of this study provide valuable information for decision support systems for short-term predictions of wildfire risk potential and inform wildland fire management of typical WUI areas in Greece.

  3. Wildfire risk assessment in a typical Mediterranean wildland-urban interface of Greece.

    PubMed

    Mitsopoulos, Ioannis; Mallinis, Giorgos; Arianoutsou, Margarita

    2015-04-01

    The purpose of this study was to assess spatial wildfire risk in a typical Mediterranean wildland-urban interface (WUI) in Greece and the potential effect of three different burning condition scenarios on the following four major wildfire risk components: burn probability, conditional flame length, fire size, and source-sink ratio. We applied the Minimum Travel Time fire simulation algorithm using the FlamMap and ArcFuels tools to characterize the potential response of the wildfire risk to a range of different burning scenarios. We created site-specific fuel models of the study area by measuring the field fuel parameters in representative natural fuel complexes, and we determined the spatial extent of the different fuel types and residential structures in the study area using photointerpretation procedures of large scale natural color orthophotographs. The results included simulated spatially explicit fire risk components along with wildfire risk exposure analysis and the expected net value change. Statistical significance differences in simulation outputs between the scenarios were obtained using Tukey's significance test. The results of this study provide valuable information for decision support systems for short-term predictions of wildfire risk potential and inform wildland fire management of typical WUI areas in Greece. PMID:25537157

  4. Integrating satellite imagery with simulation modeling to improve burn severity mapping.

    PubMed

    Karau, Eva C; Sikkink, Pamela G; Keane, Robert E; Dillon, Gregory K

    2014-07-01

    Both satellite imagery and spatial fire effects models are valuable tools for generating burn severity maps that are useful to fire scientists and resource managers. The purpose of this study was to test a new mapping approach that integrates imagery and modeling to create more accurate burn severity maps. We developed and assessed a statistical model that combines the Relative differenced Normalized Burn Ratio, a satellite image-based change detection procedure commonly used to map burn severity, with output from the Fire Hazard and Risk Model, a simulation model that estimates fire effects at a landscape scale. Using 285 Composite Burn Index (CBI) plots in Washington and Montana as ground reference, we found that an integrated model explained more variability in CBI (R (2) = 0.47) and had lower mean squared error (MSE = 0.28) than image (R (2) = 0.42 and MSE = 0.30) or simulation-based models (R (2) = 0.07 and MSE = 0.49) alone. Overall map accuracy was also highest for maps created with the Integrated Model (63 %). We suspect that Simulation Model performance would greatly improve with higher quality and more accurate spatial input data. Results of this study indicate the potential benefit of combining satellite image-based methods with a fire effects simulation model to create improved burn severity maps. PMID:24817334

  5. Integrating Satellite Imagery with Simulation Modeling to Improve Burn Severity Mapping

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Karau, Eva C.; Sikkink, Pamela G.; Keane, Robert E.; Dillon, Gregory K.

    2014-07-01

    Both satellite imagery and spatial fire effects models are valuable tools for generating burn severity maps that are useful to fire scientists and resource managers. The purpose of this study was to test a new mapping approach that integrates imagery and modeling to create more accurate burn severity maps. We developed and assessed a statistical model that combines the Relative differenced Normalized Burn Ratio, a satellite image-based change detection procedure commonly used to map burn severity, with output from the Fire Hazard and Risk Model, a simulation model that estimates fire effects at a landscape scale. Using 285 Composite Burn Index (CBI) plots in Washington and Montana as ground reference, we found that an integrated model explained more variability in CBI ( R 2 = 0.47) and had lower mean squared error (MSE = 0.28) than image ( R 2 = 0.42 and MSE = 0.30) or simulation-based models ( R 2 = 0.07 and MSE = 0.49) alone. Overall map accuracy was also highest for maps created with the Integrated Model (63 %). We suspect that Simulation Model performance would greatly improve with higher quality and more accurate spatial input data. Results of this study indicate the potential benefit of combining satellite image-based methods with a fire effects simulation model to create improved burn severity maps.

  6. Carbon Burn-Down in a Greenhouse World: Wildfires and Soil Carbon Loss across the Paleocene-Eocene Thermal Maximum (PETM)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Denis, E. H.; Foreman, B.; Maibauer, B.; Bowen, G. J.; Collinson, M. E.; Belcher, C.; Freeman, K. H.

    2014-12-01

    Projections for Earth's future suggest that wildfire activity will increase with global warming, but the factors controlling fire are complex. The Paleocene-Eocene Thermal Maximum (PETM) was a geologically abrupt global warming event that had profound effects on vegetation and hydrologic patterns and serves as an analog for modern climate change. Carbon burn-down (i.e., oxidation of organic matter) could amplify feedbacks with warming through release of carbon to the atmosphere. To assess relationships between climate, fire and soil respiration, we evaluated biomarkers, including polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), charcoal and total organic carbon (TOC) for three paleo-floodplain depositional sites in the Western USA. Samples were selected from Bighorn Basin Coring Project cores in the Bighorn Basin, Wyoming (at Basin Substation and Polecat Bench) and from an outcrop section in the Piceance Basin, Colorado. In general, the Paleocene had higher PAH concentrations (μg/g TOC) than the Eocene, but there was no clear trend during the onset (~20 kyr) or through the PETM (~200 kyr). Median %TOC decreased through the PETM, then increased in the Eocene, but did not return to Paleocene values. At Basin Substation, PAH concentrations decreased by an order of magnitude during the PETM interval, concurrent with a decline in TOC and charcoal. High molecular weight (MW) PAHs tend to dominate, especially in low TOC samples; this suggests preferential loss of low MW PAHs, which are relatively more susceptible to post-depositional processes. Lithology, TOC and the relative proportion of PAHs help discern the signals of carbon oxidation, by fire and by soil respiration. Despite climate conditions that tend to promote fire, there is no evidence for increased fires at the onset or throughout the PETM. Biomarker and petrographic data suggest decreased organic carbon preservation, including loss of refractory carbon, at Basin Substation during the PETM. This suggests soil carbon

  7. AEGIS: a wildfire prevention and management information system

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kalabokidis, Kostas; Ager, Alan; Finney, Mark; Athanasis, Nikos; Palaiologou, Palaiologos; Vasilakos, Christos

    2016-03-01

    We describe a Web-GIS wildfire prevention and management platform (AEGIS) developed as an integrated and easy-to-use decision support tool to manage wildland fire hazards in Greece (http://aegis.aegean.gr). The AEGIS platform assists with early fire warning, fire planning, fire control and coordination of firefighting forces by providing online access to information that is essential for wildfire management. The system uses a number of spatial and non-spatial data sources to support key system functionalities. Land use/land cover maps were produced by combining field inventory data with high-resolution multispectral satellite images (RapidEye). These data support wildfire simulation tools that allow the users to examine potential fire behavior and hazard with the Minimum Travel Time fire spread algorithm. End-users provide a minimum number of inputs such as fire duration, ignition point and weather information to conduct a fire simulation. AEGIS offers three types of simulations, i.e., single-fire propagation, point-scale calculation of potential fire behavior, and burn probability analysis, similar to the FlamMap fire behavior modeling software. Artificial neural networks (ANNs) were utilized for wildfire ignition risk assessment based on various parameters, training methods, activation functions, pre-processing methods and network structures. The combination of ANNs and expected burned area maps are used to generate integrated output map of fire hazard prediction. The system also incorporates weather information obtained from remote automatic weather stations and weather forecast maps. The system and associated computation algorithms leverage parallel processing techniques (i.e., High Performance Computing and Cloud Computing) that ensure computational power required for real-time application. All AEGIS functionalities are accessible to authorized end-users through a web-based graphical user interface. An

  8. Wildfire risk in the wildland-urban interface: A simulation study in northwestern Wisconsin

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Bar-Massada, A.; Radeloff, V.C.; Stewart, S.I.; Hawbaker, T.J.

    2009-01-01

    The rapid growth of housing in and near the wildland-urban interface (WUI) increases wildfire risk to lives and structures. To reduce fire risk, it is necessary to identify WUI housing areas that are more susceptible to wildfire. This is challenging, because wildfire patterns depend on fire behavior and spread, which in turn depend on ignition locations, weather conditions, the spatial arrangement of fuels, and topography. The goal of our study was to assess wildfire risk to a 60,000 ha WUI area in northwestern Wisconsin while accounting for all of these factors. We conducted 6000 simulations with two dynamic fire models: Fire Area Simulator (FARSITE) and Minimum Travel Time (MTT) in order to map the spatial pattern of burn probabilities. Simulations were run under normal and extreme weather conditions to assess the effect of weather on fire spread, burn probability, and risk to structures. The resulting burn probability maps were intersected with maps of structure locations and land cover types. The simulations revealed clear hotspots of wildfire activity and a large range of wildfire risk to structures in the study area. As expected, the extreme weather conditions yielded higher burn probabilities over the entire landscape, as well as to different land cover classes and individual structures. Moreover, the spatial pattern of risk was significantly different between extreme and normal weather conditions. The results highlight the fact that extreme weather conditions not only produce higher fire risk than normal weather conditions, but also change the fine-scale locations of high risk areas in the landscape, which is of great importance for fire management in WUI areas. In addition, the choice of weather data may limit the potential for comparisons of risk maps for different areas and for extrapolating risk maps to future scenarios where weather conditions are unknown. Our approach to modeling wildfire risk to structures can aid fire risk reduction management

  9. Assessing landscape scale wildfire exposure for highly valued resources in a Mediterranean area.

    PubMed

    Alcasena, Fermín J; Salis, Michele; Ager, Alan A; Arca, Bachisio; Molina, Domingo; Spano, Donatella

    2015-05-01

    We used a fire simulation modeling approach to assess landscape scale wildfire exposure for highly valued resources and assets (HVR) on a fire-prone area of 680 km(2) located in central Sardinia, Italy. The study area was affected by several wildfires in the last half century: some large and intense fire events threatened wildland urban interfaces as well as other socioeconomic and cultural values. Historical wildfire and weather data were used to inform wildfire simulations, which were based on the minimum travel time algorithm as implemented in FlamMap. We simulated 90,000 fires that replicated recent large fire events in the area spreading under severe weather conditions to generate detailed maps of wildfire likelihood and intensity. Then, we linked fire modeling outputs to a geospatial risk assessment framework focusing on buffer areas around HVR. The results highlighted a large variation in burn probability and fire intensity in the vicinity of HVRs, and allowed us to identify the areas most exposed to wildfires and thus to a higher potential damage. Fire intensity in the HVR buffers was mainly related to fuel types, while wind direction, topographic features, and historically based ignition pattern were the key factors affecting fire likelihood. The methodology presented in this work can have numerous applications, in the study area and elsewhere, particularly to address and inform fire risk management, landscape planning and people safety on the vicinity of HVRs. PMID:25613434

  10. Assessing Landscape Scale Wildfire Exposure for Highly Valued Resources in a Mediterranean Area

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Alcasena, Fermín J.; Salis, Michele; Ager, Alan A.; Arca, Bachisio; Molina, Domingo; Spano, Donatella

    2015-05-01

    We used a fire simulation modeling approach to assess landscape scale wildfire exposure for highly valued resources and assets (HVR) on a fire-prone area of 680 km2 located in central Sardinia, Italy. The study area was affected by several wildfires in the last half century: some large and intense fire events threatened wildland urban interfaces as well as other socioeconomic and cultural values. Historical wildfire and weather data were used to inform wildfire simulations, which were based on the minimum travel time algorithm as implemented in FlamMap. We simulated 90,000 fires that replicated recent large fire events in the area spreading under severe weather conditions to generate detailed maps of wildfire likelihood and intensity. Then, we linked fire modeling outputs to a geospatial risk assessment framework focusing on buffer areas around HVR. The results highlighted a large variation in burn probability and fire intensity in the vicinity of HVRs, and allowed us to identify the areas most exposed to wildfires and thus to a higher potential damage. Fire intensity in the HVR buffers was mainly related to fuel types, while wind direction, topographic features, and historically based ignition pattern were the key factors affecting fire likelihood. The methodology presented in this work can have numerous applications, in the study area and elsewhere, particularly to address and inform fire risk management, landscape planning and people safety on the vicinity of HVRs.

  11. Multi-scale burned area mapping in tallgrass prairie using in situ spectrometry and satellite imagery

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mohler, Rhett L.

    Prescribed burning in tallgrass prairie affects a wide range of human and natural systems. Consequently, managing this biome based on sound science, and with the concerns of all stakeholders taken into account, requires a method for mapping burned areas. In order to devise such a method, many different spectral ranges and spectral indices were tested for their ability to differentiate burned from unburned areas at both the field and satellite scales. Those bands and/or indices that performed well, as well as two different classification techniques and two different satellite-based sensors, were tested in order to come up with the best combination of band/index, classification technique, and sensor for mapping burned areas in tallgrass prairie. The ideal method used both the red and near-infrared spectral regions, used imagery at a spatial resolution of at least 250 m, used satellite imagery with daily temporal resolution, and used pixel-based classification techniques rather than object-based techniques. Using this method, burned area maps were generated for the Flint Hills for every year from 2000-2010, creating a fire history of the region during that time period. These maps were compared to active fire and burned area products, and these products were found to underestimate burned areas in tallgrass prairie.

  12. Assessing the Potential Impact of the 2015-2016 El Niño on the California Rim Fire Burn Scar Through Debris Flow Hazard Mapping

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Larcom, S.; Grigsby, S.; Ustin, S.

    2015-12-01

    Wildfires are a perennial issue for California, and the current record-breaking drought is exacerbating the potential problems for the state. Fires leave behind burn scars characterized by diminished vegetative cover and abundant bare soil, and these areas are especially susceptible to storm events that pose an elevated risk of debris flows and sediment-rich sheet wash. This study focused on the 2013 Rim Fire that devastated significant portions of Stanislaus National Forest and Yosemite National Park, and utilized readily available NASA JPL SRTM elevation data and AVIRIS spectral imaging data to construct a debris flow hazard map that assesses mass wasting risk for the Rim Fire burn scar. This study consisted entirely of remotely sensed data, which was processed in software programs such as ENVI, GRASS GIS, ArcMap, and Google Earth. Parameters that were taken into consideration when constructing this map include hill slope (greater than 30 percent rise), burn severity (assessed by calculating NDVI), and erodibility of the soil (by comparing spectral reflectance of AVIRIS images with the reference spectra of illite). By calculating percent of total burn area, 6% was classified as low risk, 55% as medium risk, and 39% as high risk. In addition, this study assessed the importance of the 2015-2016 El Niño, which is projected to be one of the strongest on record, by studying historic rainfall records and storm events of past El Niño's. Hydrological and infrastructural problems that could be caused by short-term convective or long-term synoptic storms and subsequent debris flows were explored as well.

  13. Burns

    MedlinePlus

    ... are burns treated? In many cases, topical antibiotics (skin creams or ointments) are used to prevent infection. For third-degree burns and some second-degree ones, immediate blood transfusion and/or extra fluids ... is skin grafting? There are two types of skin grafts. ...

  14. Automated mapping of burned areas in Landsat imagery; tracking spatial and temporal patterns of burned areas and greenhouse gas emissions in the Southern Rocky Mountains, USA.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hawbaker, Todd; Vanderhoof, Melanie; French, Nancy; Billmire, Michael; Beal, Yen-Ju Grace; Takacs, Josh; Bosshart, Robbert; Caldwell, Megan

    2016-04-01

    Accurate estimates of greenhouse gas emissions depend on precise mapping of burned area extent and timing. Consequently, fire disturbance has been identified by the Global Climate Observing System (GCOS) program as one of the 14 Terrestrial Essential Climate Variables (ECVs). Landsat's temporal resolution and sensor characteristics make it more suitable for mapping burned area than existing burned area products from coarse resolution sensors. We have developed an automated algorithm to identify burned areas in temporally rich stacks of Landsat surface reflectance data using boosted regression trees and spatial filters. For this analysis, we quantified trends in burned area and fire emissions using the USGS Burned Area ECV data and the Monitoring Trends in Burn Severity data, the latter of which is known to be incomplete. Both datasets were combined with the LANDFIRE Fuel Characteristic Classification System to assign pre-fire biomass loads, and the CONSUME model was used to estimate biomass consumption and greenhouse gas emissions. Both data sets show a dramatic increase in burned area between 1984-1999 and 2000-2015, but the Burned Area ECV included more small fires and fires in non-forest ecosystems. Emission estimates were similar between the two burned area datasets, but were generally greater for the Burned Area ECV. Our results suggest that national and regional scale emission estimates could be improved by incorporating the more complete Burned Area ECV dataset.

  15. [Burns].

    PubMed

    Arai, Takao

    2016-02-01

    Burns extending deep into the skin and those affecting a wide surface area trigger various responses in the body and pose a serious threat to life. Therefore, the degree of severity needs to be determined accurately, and appropriate transfusion and local management should be provided accordingly. Systematic and meticulous management that considers not just the risk of death but also functional prognosis is essential from the early stage of burn injuries. Such management requires comprehensive care by a medical team concerning infections, nutrition and rehabilitation. This article outlines the current status of intensive care for severe burns. PMID:26915244

  16. Wildfire: A Family Activity Book.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    WGBH-TV, Boston, MA.

    This family activity book provides information for discovering and demonstrating the science of fire--how firefighters decide which fires to let burn and which to put out, how fires start and spread, and what to do when they flare up. Chapters include: (1) "A Game about Wildfire"; (2) "Create a Fire Safety Commercial"; (3) "Make a Fire Escape…

  17. FireMapper 2.0: a multispectral uncooled infrared imaging system for airborne wildfire mapping and remote sensing

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hoffman, James W.; Riggan, Philip J.; Griffin, Stephanie A.; Grush, Ronald C.; Grush, William H.; Pena, James

    2003-11-01

    FireMapper®2.0 is a second-generation airborne system developed specifically for wildfire mapping and remote sensing. Its design is based on lessons learned from two years of flight-testing of a research FireMapper® system by the Pacific uthwest Research Station of the USDA Forest Service. The new, operational design features greater coverage and improved performance with a rugged sensor that is less than one third the size and weight of the original research sensor. The sensor obtains thermal infrared images in two narrow spectral bands and one wide spectral band with the use of a single uncooled microbolometer detector array. The dynamic range of the sensor is designed to accurately measure scene temperatures from normal backgrounds, for remote sensing and disaster management applications, up to flaming fronts without saturating. All three channels are extremely linear and are calibrated in-flight with a highly accurate absolute calibration system. Airborne testing of the research system has led to improved displays and simplified operator interfaces. These features facilitate the operational use of the FireMapper®2.0 system on both fixed wing aircraft and helicopters with minimal operator inputs. The operating system features custom software to display and zoom in on the images in realtime as they are obtained. Selected images can also be saved and recalled for detailed study. All images are tagged with GPS date, time, latitude, longitude, altitude, and heading and can be recorded on a portable USB hard drive upon operator command. The operating system can also be used to replay previously recorded image sequences. The FireMapper® 2.0 was designed and fabricated by Space Instruments, Inc. as part of a Research Joint Venture with the USDA Forest Service.

  18. Burns

    MedlinePlus

    ... to your body's tissues caused by heat, chemicals, electricity, sunlight, or radiation. Scalds from hot liquids and ... to infections because they damage your skin's protective barrier. Treatment for burns depends on the cause of ...

  19. Burns

    MedlinePlus

    ... of Surgery . 18th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier Saunders; 2007:chap 22. Holmes JH, Heimbach DM. Burns. In: Brunicardi FC, Andersen DK, Billiar TR, et al, eds. Schwartz's Principles of Surgery . 9th ed. New ...

  20. Airborne wildfire intelligence system: a decision support tool for wildland fire managers in Alberta

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Campbell, Doug; Born, Wally G.; Beck, Judi; Bereska, Bill; Frederick, Kurt; Hua, Sun

    2002-03-01

    The Airborne Wildfire Intelligence System (AWIS) defines the state-of-the-art in remotely sensed wildfire intelligence. AWIS is a commercial, automated, intelligence service, delivering GIS integrated fire intelligence, classified interpretive and analysis layers, and higher level decision support products for wildfires in near real time via the Internet. The AWIS effort illustrates flexible and dynamic cooperation between industry and government to combine technology with field knowledge and experience into an effective, optimized end-user tool. In Alberta the Forest Protection Division of the department of Sustainable Resource Development uses AWIS for several applications: holdover and wildfire hotspot detection, fire front and burned area perimeter mapping, strategic and tactical support through 3D visualization, research into the effects of fire and its severity and to document burn patterns across the landscape. A discussion of all of the scientific themes behind the AWIS is outside the scope of this paper, however, the science of sub-element detection will be reviewed. An independent study has been conducted by the Forest Engineering Research Institute of Canada (FERIC) to investigate the capability of a variety of thermal infrared remote sensing systems to detect small and subtle hotspots in an effort to identify the strengths and weaknesses thereof. As a result of this work, method suitability guidelines have been established to match appropriate infrared technology with a given wildfire management objective.

  1. Remote sensing and hydrological modeling of burn scars

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Miller, Mary Ellen

    This study examined the potential usefulness of combining remote sensing data with hydrologic models and mapping tools available from Geographic Information Systems (GIS), to evaluate the effects of wildfire. Four subprojects addressed this issue: (1) validation of burn scar maps derived from the Advanced Very High Resolution Radiometer (AVHRR) with the National Fire Occurrence Database; (2) testing the potential of thermal MODIS (Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer) data for near-real time burn scar and fire severity mapping; (3) evaluation of Landsat derived burn severity maps within WEPP through the Geo-spatial interface for the Water Erosion Prediction Project (GeoWEPP), and (4) predicting potential post-fire erosion for western U.S. forests utilizing existing datasets and models. Wildfire poses incredibly complex management problems in all of its stages. Today's land managers have the option of trying to mitigate the effects of a severe fire before it occurs by fuel management practices. This process is expensive especially considering the uncertainty of when and where the next fire in a given region will occur. When a wildfire does occur, deciding when to let it burn and when to suppress it may lead to controversial decisions. In addition to the threat to life and property from the fire itself, smoke emissions from large fires can cause air quality problems in distant airsheds. Even after the fire is extinguished, erosion and water quality problems may pose difficult management questions. Contributions stemming from these studies include improved burn scar maps for studying historical fire extent and demonstration of the feasibility of using thermal satellite data to predict burn scar extent when clouds and smoke obscure visible bands. The incorporation of Landsat derived burn severity maps was shown to improve post-fire erosion modeling results. Finally the potential post-fire burn severity and erosion risk maps generated for western US forests

  2. Monitoring a boreal wildfire using multi-temporal Radarsat-1 intensity and coherence images

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Rykhus, Russ; Lu, Zhiming

    2011-01-01

    Twenty-five C-band Radarsat-1 synthetic aperture radar (SAR) images acquired from the summer of 2002 to the summer of 2005 are used to map a 2003 boreal wildfire (B346) in the Yukon Flats National Wildlife Refuge, Alaska under conditions of near-persistent cloud cover. Our analysis is primarily based on the 15 SAR scenes acquired during arctic growing seasons. The Radarsat-1 intensity data are used to map the onset and progression of the fire, and interferometric coherence images are used to qualify burn severity and monitor post-fire recovery. We base our analysis of the fire on three test sites, two from within the fire and one unburned site. The B346 fire increased backscattered intensity values for the two burn study sites by approximately 5-6 dB and substantially reduced coherence from background levels of approximately 0.8 in unburned background forested areas to approximately 0.2 in the burned area. Using ancillary vegetation information from the National Land Cover Database (NLCD) and information on burn severity from Normalized Burn Ratio (NBR) data, we conclude that burn site 2 was more severely burned than burn site 1 and that C-band interferometric coherence data are useful for mapping landscape changes due to fire. Differences in burn severity and topography are determined to be the likely reasons for the observed differences in post-fire intensity and coherence trends between burn sites.

  3. Flooding could follow wildfires

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Showstack, Randy

    Summertime wildfires that have already burned about 2.7 million hectares in the United States may cause a double-whammy for property owners by greatly increasing the risk of flooding, according to the Federal Emergency Management Agency or FEMA.FEMA director Joe Allbaugh said, “The loss of trees, ground cover, and other vegetation has greatly increased the possibility of flash floods and mudflows.” Allbaugh said that land scorched and barren from the loss of natural forest barriers can take decades to recover and result in erosion and devastating floods.

  4. Status of vegetation cover after 25 years since the last wildfire (Río Verde, Spain)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Martinez-Murillo, Juan F.; Remond, Ricardo; Ruiz-Sinoga, José D.

    2016-04-01

    Climatic conditions play an important role in the post-fire vegetation recovery as well as other factors like topography, soil, and pre and post-fire land use (Shakesby, 2011; Robichaud et al., 2013). This study deals with the characterization of the vegetation cover status in an area affected by a wildfire 25 years ago. Namely, the objectives are to: i) compare the current and previous vegetation cover to wildfire; and ii) evaluate whether the current vegetation has recovered the previous cover to wildfire. The study area is mainly located in the Rio Verde watershed (Sierra de las Nieves, South of Spain). It corresponds to an area affected by a wildfire in August 8th, 1991. The burned area was equal to 8,156 ha. The burn severity was spatially very high. The main geographic features of the burned area are: mountainous topography (altitudes ranging from 250 m to 1700 m; slope gradient >25%; exposure mainly southfacing); igneous (peridotites), metamorphic (gneiss) and calcareous rocks (limestones); and predominant forest land use (Pinus pinaster sp. woodlands, 10%; pinus opened forest + shrubland, 40%; shrubland, 35%; and bare soil + grassland, 15%). Remote sensing techniques and GIS analysis has been applied to achieve the objectives. Landsat 5 and Landsat 8 images were used: July 13th, 1991 and July 1st, 2013, for the previous wildfire situation and 22-years after, respectively. The 1990 CORINE land cover was also considered to map 1991 land uses prior the wildfire. The Andalucía Regional Government wildfire historic records were used to select the burned area and its geographical limit. 1991 and 2013 land cover maps were obtained by means of object-oriented classifications. Also, NDVI index were calculated and mapped for both years in order to compare the status of vegetation cover. According to the results, the combination of remote sensing and GIS analysis let map the most recovered areas affected by the wildfire in 1991. The vegetation indexes indicated that

  5. A fully automatic processing chain to produce Burn Scar Mapping products, using the full Landsat archive over Greece

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kontoes, Charalampos; Papoutsis, Ioannis; Herekakis, Themistoklis; Michail, Dimitrios; Ieronymidi, Emmanuela

    2013-04-01

    Remote sensing tools for the accurate, robust and timely assessment of the damages inflicted by forest wildfires provide information that is of paramount importance to public environmental agencies and related stakeholders before, during and after the crisis. The Institute for Astronomy, Astrophysics, Space Applications and Remote Sensing of the National Observatory of Athens (IAASARS/NOA) has developed a fully automatic single and/or multi date processing chain that takes as input archived Landsat 4, 5 or 7 raw images and produces precise diachronic burnt area polygons and damage assessments over the Greek territory. The methodology consists of three fully automatic stages: 1) the pre-processing stage where the metadata of the raw images are extracted, followed by the application of the LEDAPS software platform for calibration and mask production and the Automated Precise Orthorectification Package, developed by NASA, for image geo-registration and orthorectification, 2) the core-BSM (Burn Scar Mapping) processing stage which incorporates a published classification algorithm based on a series of physical indexes, the application of two filters for noise removal using graph-based techniques and the grouping of pixels classified as burnt to form the appropriate pixels clusters before proceeding to conversion from raster to vector, and 3) the post-processing stage where the products are thematically refined and enriched using auxiliary GIS layers (underlying land cover/use, administrative boundaries, etc.) and human logic/evidence to suppress false alarms and omission errors. The established processing chain has been successfully applied to the entire archive of Landsat imagery over Greece spanning from 1984 to 2012, which has been collected and managed in IAASARS/NOA. The number of full Landsat frames that were subject of process in the framework of the study was 415. These burn scar mapping products are generated for the first time to such a temporal and spatial

  6. AEGIS: a wildfire prevention and management information system

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kalabokidis, K.; Ager, A.; Finney, M.; Athanasis, N.; Palaiologou, P.; Vasilakos, C.

    2015-10-01

    A Web-GIS wildfire prevention and management platform (AEGIS) was developed as an integrated and easy-to-use decision support tool (http://aegis.aegean.gr). The AEGIS platform assists with early fire warning, fire planning, fire control and coordination of firefighting forces by providing access to information that is essential for wildfire management. Databases were created with spatial and non-spatial data to support key system functionalities. Updated land use/land cover maps were produced by combining field inventory data with high resolution multispectral satellite images (RapidEye) to be used as inputs in fire propagation modeling with the Minimum Travel Time algorithm. End users provide a minimum number of inputs such as fire duration, ignition point and weather information to conduct a fire simulation. AEGIS offers three types of simulations; i.e. single-fire propagations, conditional burn probabilities and at the landscape-level, similar to the FlamMap fire behavior modeling software. Artificial neural networks (ANN) were utilized for wildfire ignition risk assessment based on various parameters, training methods, activation functions, pre-processing methods and network structures. The combination of ANNs and expected burned area maps produced an integrated output map for fire danger prediction. The system also incorporates weather measurements from remote automatic weather stations and weather forecast maps. The structure of the algorithms relies on parallel processing techniques (i.e. High Performance Computing and Cloud Computing) that ensure computational power and speed. All AEGIS functionalities are accessible to authorized end users through a web-based graphical user interface. An innovative mobile application, AEGIS App, acts as a complementary tool to the web-based version of the system.

  7. MODIS-Landsat data fusion for continental scale burned area mapping

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Boschetti, L.; Roy, D. P.

    2011-12-01

    Satellite data have been used to monitor fire for more than two decades using computer algorithms that detect the location of active fires at the time of satellite overpass, and in the last decade using burned area mapping algorithms that map the spatial extent of the areas affected by fires. Until the successful launch of the polar-orbiting NASA Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) sensors there were no environmental satellite systems with dedicated fire monitoring capabilities. The MODIS design includes bands specifically selected for fire detection and MODIS data are being used to systematically generate the daily global 1km active fire and the monthly 500m burned area products. However, neither MODIS product can detect fires reliably at the scale of 10's of meters. The recent U.S. free Landsat data policy now provides the opportunity for continental to global scale Landsat 30m resolution processing. This paper presents a multi-temporal methodology to fuse the MODIS active fire and burned area products with Landsat data to map burned areas at 30m on a temporally rolling basis. To demonstrate the fusion methodology, 30m burned area maps of the conterminous United States (CONUS) are generated using the freely available Web Enabled Landsat (WELD) ETM+ mosaics (http://landsat.usgs.gov/WELD.php). Validation is conducted by systematic comparison with the fire perimeter vectors provided by the USGS Monitoring Trends in Burn Severity project. Prospects for future developments and continental application are discussed. The presented methodology demonstrates the potential for the fusion of the planned NPP/NPOESS VIIRS active fire product with reflectance data sensed by the planned Landsat Data Continuity missions.

  8. High-resolution mapping of biomass burning emissions in tropical regions across three continents

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Shi, Yusheng; Matsunaga, Tsuneo; Saito, Makoto

    2015-04-01

    Biomass burning emissions from open vegetation fires (forest fires, savanna fires, agricultural waste burning), human waste and biofuel combustion contain large amounts of trace gases (e.g., CO2, CH4, and N2O) and aerosols (BC and OC), which significantly impact ecosystem productivity, global atmospheric chemistry, and climate . With the help of recently released satellite products, biomass density based on satellite and ground-based observation data, and spatial variable combustion factors, this study developed a new high-resolution emissions inventory for biomass burning in tropical regions across three continents in 2010. Emissions of trace gases and aerosols from open vegetation burning are estimated from burned areas, fuel loads, combustion factors, and emission factors. Burned areas were derived from MODIS MCD64A1 burned area product, fuel loads were mapped from biomass density data sets for herbaceous and tree-covered land based on satellite and ground-based observation data. To account for spatial heterogeneity in combustion factors, global fractional tree cover (MOD44B) and vegetation cover maps (MCD12Q1) were introduced to estimate the combustion factors in different regions by using their relationship with tree cover under less than 40%, between 40-60% and above 60% conditions. For emission factors, the average values for each fuel type from field measurements are used. In addition to biomass burning from open vegetation fires, the emissions from human waste (residential and dump) burning and biofuel burning in 2010 were also estimated for 76 countries in tropical regions across the three continents and then allocated into each pixel with 1 km grid based on the population density (Gridded Population of the World v3). Our total estimates for the tropical regions across the three continents in 2010 were 17744.5 Tg CO2, 730.3 Tg CO, 32.0 Tg CH4, 31.6 Tg NOx, 119.2 Tg NMOC, 6.3 Tg SO2, 9.8 NH3 Tg, 81.8 Tg PM2.5, 48.0 Tg OC, and 5.7 Tg BC, respectively. Open

  9. A method for smoke marker measurements and its potential application for determining the contribution of biomass burning from wildfires and prescribed fires to ambient PM2.5 organic carbon

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sullivan, A. P.; Holden, A. S.; Patterson, L. A.; McMeeking, G. R.; Kreidenweis, S. M.; Malm, W. C.; Hao, W. M.; Wold, C. E.; Collett, J. L.

    2008-11-01

    Biomass burning is an important source of particulate organic carbon (OC) in the atmosphere. Quantifying this contribution in time and space requires a means of routinely apportioning contributions of smoke from biomass burning to OC. Smoke marker (for example, levoglucosan) measurements provide the most common approach for making this determination. A lack of source profiles for wildfires and prescribed fires and the expense and complexity of traditional smoke marker measurement methods have thus far limited routine estimates of these contributions to ambient aerosol concentrations and regional haze. We report here on the collection of source profiles for combustion of numerous wildland fuels and on the development of an inexpensive and robust technique for routine smoke marker measurements. Hi-Volume filter source samples were collected during two studies at the Fire Science Laboratory in Missoula, MT in 2006 and 2007. Levoglucosan (and other carbohydrates) were measured in these samples using high-performance anion-exchange chromatography with pulsed amperometric detection. Results of this analysis along with water-soluble potassium, OC, and elemental carbon are presented. The results show that emissions of levoglucosan are fairly correlated with OC with an average ratio of 0.031 μg C/μg C. Further, there was a definite pattern that emerged based on fuel component burned with the typical levoglucosan/OC ratio of branches > straw > needles > leaves. Additionally, this carbohydrate measurement method appears to provide fingerprint information about the type of fuel burned that could help constrain profiles chosen for aerosol source apportionment and lead to a better determination of source contributions from biomass burning.

  10. MODIS-Landsat data fusion for automated continental 30 m burned area mapping

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Boschetti, L.; Roy, D. P.; Baraldi, A.; Humber, M.

    2013-12-01

    Satellite data have been used to monitor fire for more than three decades using computer algorithms that detect the location of active fires at the time of satellite overpass and the spatial extent of the areas affected by fire. The Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) sensors have dedicated fire monitoring capabilities and their data are used to systematically generate daily global 1km active fire and monthly 500m burned area products. Neither MODIS product can detect the incidence or extent of fire reliably at the scale of 10's of meters. The free Landsat data policy now provides the opportunity for continental to global scale Landsat 30m resolution processing. We present a multi-temporal methodology to fuse the MODIS active fire and burned area products with Landsat data to map burned areas at 30m on a temporally rolling basis. To demonstrate the methodology, 30m burned area maps of the Western United States are generated using the freely available Web Enabled Landsat (WELD) mosaics (http://landsat.usgs.gov/WELD.php). Validation is conducted by systematic comparison with fire perimeter vectors provided by the USGS Monitoring Trends in Burn Severity project. Prospects for future development and continental application are discussed. The methodology demonstrates the potential use of the Landsat archive to generate a long term 30m fire data record.

  11. Application of wildfire spread and behavior models to assess fire probability and severity in the Mediterranean region

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Salis, Michele; Arca, Bachisio; Bacciu, Valentina; Spano, Donatella; Duce, Pierpaolo; Santoni, Paul; Ager, Alan; Finney, Mark

    2010-05-01

    Characterizing the spatial pattern of large fire occurrence and severity is an important feature of the fire management planning in the Mediterranean region. The spatial characterization of fire probabilities, fire behavior distributions and value changes are key components for quantitative risk assessment and for prioritizing fire suppression resources, fuel treatments and law enforcement. Because of the growing wildfire severity and frequency in recent years (e.g.: Portugal, 2003 and 2005; Italy and Greece, 2007 and 2009), there is an increasing demand for models and tools that can aid in wildfire prediction and prevention. Newer wildfire simulation systems offer promise in this regard, and allow for fine scale modeling of wildfire severity and probability. Several new applications has resulted from the development of a minimum travel time (MTT) fire spread algorithm (Finney, 2002), that models the fire growth searching for the minimum time for fire to travel among nodes in a 2D network. The MTT approach makes computationally feasible to simulate thousands of fires and generate burn probability and fire severity maps over large areas. The MTT algorithm is imbedded in a number of research and fire modeling applications. High performance computers are typically used for MTT simulations, although the algorithm is also implemented in the FlamMap program (www.fire.org). In this work, we described the application of the MTT algorithm to estimate spatial patterns of burn probability and to analyze wildfire severity in three fire prone areas of the Mediterranean Basin, specifically Sardinia (Italy), Sicily (Italy) and Corsica (France) islands. We assembled fuels and topographic data for the simulations in 500 x 500 m grids for the study areas. The simulations were run using 100,000 ignitions under weather conditions that replicated severe and moderate weather conditions (97th and 70th percentile, July and August weather, 1995-2007). We used both random ignition locations

  12. Distribution, Transport, and Accumulation of Pyrogenic Black Carbon in Post-Wildfire Watersheds

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Galanter, A.; Cadol, D. D.; Frey, B.; Lohse, K. A.

    2014-12-01

    Large, high severity wildfires greatly alter forest structure, water quality, and soil development/erosion. With increased frequency of such wildfires also follows heavy post-wildfire debris flows and flooding which deliver high loads of sediment and pyrogenic black carbon (PyC) to downstream waterways. The accumulation of PyC is a multi-faceted and dynamic issue in the critical zone. Generated by incomplete combustion of organic matter, PyC (in the form of soot and char) impacts turbidity, biological and chemical oxygen demand, and pH. In addition, PyC has the potential to sequester contaminants and can store carbon over short and long timescales. The impacts of two recent wildfires in Northern New Mexico are studied with the goal of understanding the fluxes and residence times of PyC in post-wildfire, mountainous watersheds. Employing burn severity maps and geospatial data, we selected three sites to collect soil and water samples to characterize PyC: a control, an area impacted by a large, severe burn (2011), and an area impacted by a smaller, less severe burn (2013). By collaborating with researchers at the Jemez Critical Zone Observatory, soil samples are being analyzed and will provide pre-wildfire PyC concentrations for the 2013 burn area. In this study, PyC is treated as both a particulate and a solute that is transported throughout the watershed as well as degraded in soils, surface water and groundwater. We used two black carbon quantification methods: the chemo-thermal oxidation (CTO-375) method to distinguish between soil soot and char, and the benzene polycarboxylic acids (BPCA) method to quantify the total concentrations of PyC in soil and water samples. Preliminary soil data from the CTO-375 method show comparable soot concentrations in the control, 2011, and 2013 burn indicating that the soot is more recalcitrant than char and remains in the watershed long after a wildfire. This data also suggests that the fluxes of black carbon over short time

  13. Automated mapping of burned areas in semi-arid ecosystems using modis time-series imagery

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hardtke, L. A.; Blanco, P. D.; del Valle, H. F.; Metternicht, G. I.; Sione, W. F.

    2015-04-01

    Understanding spatial and temporal patterns of burned areas at regional scales, provides a long-term perspective of fire processes and its effects on ecosystems and vegetation recovery patterns, and it is a key factor to design prevention and post-fire restoration plans and strategies. Standard satellite burned area and active fire products derived from the 500-m MODIS and SPOT are avail - able to this end. However, prior research caution on the use of these global-scale products for regional and sub-regional applica - tions. Consequently, we propose a novel algorithm for automated identification and mapping of burned areas at regional scale in semi-arid shrublands. The algorithm uses a set of the Normalized Burned Ratio Index products derived from MODIS time series; using a two-phased cycle, it firstly detects potentially burned pixels while keeping a low commission error (false detection of burned areas), and subsequently labels them as seed patches. Region growing image segmentation algorithms are applied to the seed patches in the second-phase, to define the perimeter of fire affected areas while decreasing omission errors (missing real burned areas). Independently-derived Landsat ETM+ burned-area reference data was used for validation purposes. The correlation between the size of burnt areas detected by the global fire products and independently-derived Landsat reference data ranged from R2 = 0.01 - 0.28, while our algorithm performed showed a stronger correlation coefficient (R2 = 0.96). Our findings confirm prior research calling for caution when using the global fire products locally or regionally.

  14. FIRESTORM: Modelling the water quality risk of wildfire.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mason, C. I.; Sheridan, G. J.; Smith, H. G.; Jones, O.; Chong, D.; Tolhurst, K.

    2012-04-01

    ,000 pre-processed spatially distributed fire intensity and flame height maps, generated by a fire behaviour simulator. This part of the model predicts the annual risk of the water supply catchment burning and the spatial extent and severity of the burn. These spatial fire severity maps may be combined with vegetation maps and information on soils to determine initial conditions for modelling of sediment and associated contaminant loads delivered to reservoirs. Erosion and water quality models that form part of the overall model framework include a catchment-scale constituent load model to represent widespread rainfall events and a semi-distributed runoff and erosion connectivity model applied at the small catchment scale for convective storm events. Recent work has shown that localised, intense convective storms may also generate debris flows after fire in south-eastern Australia. Therefore, for the application of the model framework to reservoirs supplying Melbourne, an empirical debris flow erosion model is included. For the localised event models, sediment is routed from sub-catchments through the main channel network to the reservoir boundary. These erosion models are modular so that FIRESTORM may be adapted for use in a region of the world that experiences different dominant erosion processes. FIRESTORM will enable water supply managers to estimate the current water quality risk of wildfire and allow scenario testing to explore the effect of mitigation strategies (e.g. planned burning, post-fire erosion control measures) designed to reduce fire impacts and the magnitude of loads entering reservoirs. This model will be a valuable new tool for better decision making to protect future water supplies.

  15. Advancing effects analysis for integrated, large-scale wildfire risk assessment.

    PubMed

    Thompson, Matthew P; Calkin, David E; Gilbertson-Day, Julie W; Ager, Alan A

    2011-08-01

    In this article, we describe the design and development of a quantitative, geospatial risk assessment tool intended to facilitate monitoring trends in wildfire risk over time and to provide information useful in prioritizing fuels treatments and mitigation measures. The research effort is designed to develop, from a strategic view, a first approximation of how both fire likelihood and intensity influence risk to social, economic, and ecological values at regional and national scales. Three main components are required to generate wildfire risk outputs: (1) burn probability maps generated from wildfire simulations, (2) spatially identified highly valued resources (HVRs), and (3) response functions that describe the effects of fire (beneficial or detrimental) on the HVR. Analyzing fire effects has to date presented a major challenge to integrated risk assessments, due to a limited understanding of the type and magnitude of changes wrought by wildfire to ecological and other nonmarket values. This work advances wildfire effects analysis, recognizing knowledge uncertainty and appropriately managing it through the use of an expert systems approach. Specifically, this work entailed consultation with 10 fire and fuels program management officials from federal agencies with fire management responsibilities in order to define quantitative resource response relationships as a function of fire intensity. Here, we demonstrate a proof-of-concept application of the wildland fire risk assessment tool, using the state of Oregon as a case study. PMID:20981570

  16. Viejas Wildfire

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    2002-01-01

    More than 2,000 firefighters continue to battle the 'Viejas Wildfire' which has consumed more than 11,000 acres in the dry, mountainous region just east of San Diego, California. Authorities there believe the blaze may have been started on Wednesday, January 3, by a cigarette thrown from a car on Interstate 8. Shifty winds with gusts of up to 65 miles per hour helped fan and quickly spread the flames. Late Wednesday, eyewitnesses reported seeing thick smoke and dime-sized bits of ash blowing toward downtown San Diego, prompting health officials there to warn residents with respiratory conditions to take necessary precautions. Parts of other communities, such as Alpine, have been evacuated to avoid the rapidly spreading flames. Firefighters estimate that the Viejas Fire, named after a nearby Native American reservation, will be contained by late Saturday, January 6. This image of the wildfire was acquired on January 4, 2001, by the Moderate-resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS), flying aboard NASA's Terra spacecraft. The scene shows the wildfire and smoke plume from the Alpine region, east of San Diego. This false-color image was generated using a combination of MODIS' thermal infrared data, at 1-kilometer resolution, along with two of the sensor's 500-meter resolution visible channels. These data were acquired via direct broadcast by the SeaSpace TeraScan SX-EOS receiving station at SeaSpace Corporation in Poway, California. The image was processed, Earth-located and enhanced using TeraScan software. Image courtesy Dave Brooks, SeaSpace Corporation

  17. Wildfire risk in the wildland-urban interface: A simulation study in northwestern Wisconsin

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Massada, Avi Bar; Radeloff, Volker C.; Stewart, Susan I.; Hawbaker, Todd J.

    2009-01-01

    The rapid growth of housing in and near the wildland–urban interface (WUI) increases wildfirerisk to lives and structures. To reduce fire risk, it is necessary to identify WUI housing areas that are more susceptible to wildfire. This is challenging, because wildfire patterns depend on fire behavior and spread, which in turn depend on ignition locations, weather conditions, the spatial arrangement of fuels, and topography. The goal of our study was to assess wildfirerisk to a 60,000 ha WUI area in northwesternWisconsin while accounting for all of these factors. We conducted 6000 simulations with two dynamic fire models: Fire Area Simulator (FARSITE) and Minimum Travel Time (MTT) in order to map the spatial pattern of burn probabilities. Simulations were run under normal and extreme weather conditions to assess the effect of weather on fire spread, burn probability, and risk to structures. The resulting burn probability maps were intersected with maps of structure locations and land cover types. The simulations revealed clear hotspots of wildfire activity and a large range of wildfirerisk to structures in the study area. As expected, the extreme weather conditions yielded higher burn probabilities over the entire landscape, as well as to different land cover classes and individual structures. Moreover, the spatial pattern of risk was significantly different between extreme and normal weather conditions. The results highlight the fact that extreme weather conditions not only produce higher fire risk than normal weather conditions, but also change the fine-scale locations of high risk areas in the landscape, which is of great importance for fire management in WUI areas. In addition, the choice of weather data may limit the potential for comparisons of risk maps for different areas and for extrapolating risk maps to future scenarios where weather conditions are unknown. Our approach to modeling wildfirerisk to structures can aid fire risk reduction management

  18. Applying Spatial Statistics to Isolate the Effects of Fuels, Topography, and Weather on Burn Severity

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wimberly, M. C.; Cochrane, M. A.; Baer, A. D.; Zhu, Z.

    2007-12-01

    Fire severity datasets derived from satellite remote sensing data are now being used extensively in wildfire research and land management. Maps of burn severity based on the differenced normalized burn ratio (dNBR) are being produced and disseminated by the Monitoring Trends in Burn Severity (MTBS) project for all major wildfires in the United States from 1984 to present. This abundance of data presents unprecedented new opportunities for understanding how weather, terrain, and fuels interact to determine fire severity patterns, and for testing the effectiveness of fuel-reduction strategies for mitigating wildfire impacts. However, these datasets present challenges for statistical analysis because of their large sizes and the non-independence of spatially autocorrelated pixels. To explore the importance of spatial autocorrelation, we analyzed the spatial patterns of burn severity in two recent wildfires - the 2004 School Fire in the Blue Mountains of southeastern Washington and the 2005 Warm Fire on the Kaibab Plateau in northern Arizona. Conditional autoregressive (CAR) models were fitted with dNBR as the dependent variable and topography, fuels, and locations of recent fuel treatments as the independent variables. In both fires, elevation, slope, and aspect had strong effects on burn severity. Fuels had stronger effects on burn severity for the School fire than for the Warm Fire. In both fires, fuel treatments that combined thinning and prescribed burning resulted in statistically significant reductions in fire severity. The CAR models were then decomposed to isolate the spatial signal, which reflected spatially structured variability in dNBR that was not related to the independent variables. The spatial signals were correlated with the burn progression maps, reflecting spatial and temporal variability in weather and fire behavior (e.g. wind versus plume driven) over the course of the fire. These results suggest that spatial autocorrelation in the analysis of

  19. Application of wildfire simulation models for risk analysis

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ager, A.; Finney, M.

    2009-04-01

    Wildfire simulation models are being widely used by fire and fuels specialists in the U.S. to support tactical and strategic decisions related to the mitigation of wildfire risk. Much of this application has resulted from the development of a minimum travel time (MTT) fire spread algorithm (M. Finney) that makes it computationally feasible to simulate thousands of fires and generate burn probability and intensity maps over large areas (10,000 - 2,000,000 ha). The MTT algorithm is parallelized for multi-threaded processing and is imbedded in a number of research and applied fire modeling applications. High performance computers (e.g., 32-way 64 bit SMP) are typically used for MTT simulations, although the algorithm is also implemented in the 32 bit desktop FlamMap3 program (www.fire.org). Extensive testing has shown that this algorithm can replicate large fire boundaries in the heterogeneous landscapes that typify much of the wildlands in the western U.S. In this paper, we describe the application of the MTT algorithm to understand spatial patterns of burn probability (BP), and to analyze wildfire risk to key human and ecological values. The work is focused on a federally-managed 2,000,000 ha landscape in the central interior region of Oregon State, USA. The fire-prone study area encompasses a wide array of topography and fuel types and a number of highly valued resources that are susceptible to fire. We quantitatively defined risk as the product of the probability of a fire and the resulting consequence. Burn probabilities at specific intensity classes were estimated for each 100 x 100 m pixel by simulating 100,000 wildfires under burn conditions that replicated recent severe wildfire events that occurred under conditions where fire suppression was generally ineffective (97th percentile, August weather). We repeated the simulation under milder weather (70th percentile, August weather) to replicate a "wildland fire use scenario" where suppression is minimized to

  20. The estimation of territiry predeposition to wildfires

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Panchenko, Ekaterina; Dukarev, Anatoly

    2010-05-01

    Wildfires have significant environmental effects. The indirect damages because of fires are an emission of various combustion products such as aerosols, greenhouse gases and carcinogen. Analysis of smoke emission show that from 1 ha burning area emitted aerosols from 0.2 to 1 ton. The aim of our research is to estimate biomass burning emission: Biomass Burning Emission=BA x FL x CE x EF, where BA is Burned Area (ha); FL is forest litter cover (cm); CE is Combustion Efficiency (0-1), depends on a class of fire danger; EF is Emission Factor (kg emitted / kg dry-mass burnt). Consequently for estimation of biomass burning emission it is necessary to analyze of territory predisposition to wildfires and give characteristic of combustion material types for detection fire hazard, for prognosis fire origin and extension. Prognosis of occurrence of wildfires and definition of emissions is possible by means of data of depth forest litter, types of vegetation and type of landscapes including concrete weather conditions (seasons, length of arid period, current temperature, wind speed and its direction). The investigated object is the territory Tomskii district near to the city of Tomsk (56° 31 N-85°08 E) - with the population more than 500 thousand people. The conducted analysis of investigated territory and the calculation will be basic prognostic model for researching wildfires.

  1. Analyzing wildfire exposure on Sardinia, Italy

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Salis, Michele; Ager, Alan A.; Arca, Bachisio; Finney, Mark A.; Alcasena, Fermin; Bacciu, Valentina; Duce, Pierpaolo; Munoz Lozano, Olga; Spano, Donatella

    2014-05-01

    We used simulation modeling based on the minimum travel time algorithm (MTT) to analyze wildfire exposure of key ecological, social and economic features on Sardinia, Italy. Sardinia is the second largest island of the Mediterranean Basin, and in the last fifty years experienced large and dramatic wildfires, which caused losses and threatened urban interfaces, forests and natural areas, and agricultural productions. Historical fires and environmental data for the period 1995-2009 were used as input to estimate fine scale burn probability, conditional flame length, and potential fire size in the study area. With this purpose, we simulated 100,000 wildfire events within the study area, randomly drawing from the observed frequency distribution of burn periods and wind directions for each fire. Estimates of burn probability, excluding non-burnable fuels, ranged from 0 to 1.92x10-3, with a mean value of 6.48x10-5. Overall, the outputs provided a quantitative assessment of wildfire exposure at the landscape scale and captured landscape properties of wildfire exposure. We then examined how the exposure profiles varied among and within selected features and assets located on the island. Spatial variation in modeled outputs resulted in a strong effect of fuel models, coupled with slope and weather. In particular, the combined effect of Mediterranean maquis, woodland areas and complex topography on flame length was relevant, mainly in north-east Sardinia, whereas areas with herbaceous fuels and flat areas were in general characterized by lower fire intensity but higher burn probability. The simulation modeling proposed in this work provides a quantitative approach to inform wildfire risk management activities, and represents one of the first applications of burn probability modeling to capture fire risk and exposure profiles in the Mediterranean basin.

  2. Wildfire and the future of water supply.

    PubMed

    Bladon, Kevin D; Emelko, Monica B; Silins, Uldis; Stone, Micheal

    2014-08-19

    In many parts of the world, forests provide high quality water for domestic, agricultural, industrial, and ecological needs, with water supplies in those regions inextricably linked to forest health. Wildfires have the potential to have devastating effects on aquatic ecosystems and community drinking water supply through impacts on water quantity and quality. In recent decades, a combination of fuel load accumulation, climate change, extensive droughts, and increased human presence in forests have resulted in increases in area burned and wildfire severity-a trend predicted to continue. Thus, the implications of wildfire for many downstream water uses are increasingly concerning, particularly the provision of safe drinking water, which may require additional treatment infrastructure and increased operations and maintenance costs in communities downstream of impacted landscapes. A better understanding of the effects of wildfire on water is needed to develop effective adaptation and mitigation strategies to protect globally critical water supplies originating in forested environments. PMID:25007310

  3. The impact of antecedent fire area on burned area in southern California coastal ecosystems.

    PubMed

    Price, Owen F; Bradstock, Ross A; Keeley, Jon E; Syphard, Alexandra D

    2012-12-30

    Frequent wildfire disasters in southern California highlight the need for risk reduction strategies for the region, of which fuel reduction via prescribed burning is one option. However, there is no consensus about the effectiveness of prescribed fire in reducing the area of wildfire. Here, we use 29 years of historical fire mapping to quantify the relationship between annual wildfire area and antecedent fire area in predominantly shrub and grassland fuels in seven southern California counties, controlling for annual variation in weather patterns. This method has been used elsewhere to measure leverage: the reduction in wildfire area resulting from one unit of prescribed fire treatment. We found little evidence for a leverage effect (leverage = zero). Specifically our results showed no evidence that wildfire area was negatively influenced by previous fires, and only weak relationships with weather variables rainfall and Santa Ana wind occurrences, which were variables included to control for inter-annual variation. We conclude that this is because only 2% of the vegetation burns each year and so wildfires rarely encounter burned patches and chaparral shrublands can carry a fire within 1 or 2 years after previous fire. Prescribed burning is unlikely to have much influence on fire regimes in this area, though targeted treatment at the urban interface may be effective at providing defensible space for protecting assets. These results fit an emerging global model of fire leverage which position California at the bottom end of a continuum, with tropical savannas at the top (leverage = 1: direct replacement of wildfire by prescribed fire) and Australian eucalypt forests in the middle (leverage ~ 0.25). PMID:23064248

  4. The impact of biomass burning on the tropospheric distribution of CO during the 1984 maps experiment

    SciTech Connect

    Saylor, R.D.; Easter, R.C.; Chapman, E.G.

    1996-12-31

    The purpose of the work reported here was to use a global, three-dimensional tropospheric chemistry model to analyze and evaluate carbon monoxide (CO) experimental data. The data was obtained from the Measurement of Air Pollution by Satellites (MAPS) program. The model was used to investigate the role of biomass burning on the global distribution of CO during early October 1984. Global simulations of CO emissions, transport, and chemistry were made using archived meteorological data. To allow direct comparison with the MAPS data, the model results were column-weighted. The model CO distribution had several similarities with the MAPS data. Major maxima of CO mixing ratios occur over southern Africa and South America in the model and in MAPS measurements. Modeled and MAPS CO values compare favorably over Europe and eastern Asia. A major difference between the modeled distribution and the MAPS data was the location of the maximum over South America. This difference may be the result of differences in actual emissions or may be due to differences in the location of modeled and actual convective activity. Another significant difference was that the model showed a distinct plume of CO emanating from eastern North America while the MAPS data does not. To further test the accuracy of the model simulation, the results were compared to three other measurements of CO data that were taken during the same time period or that should be representative of conditions in remote areas. 9 refs., 2 figs., 3 tabs.

  5. Continental scale 30m burned area mapping: demonstration and validation for the conterminous United States and Alaska

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Boschetti, L.; Roy, D. P.

    2014-12-01

    Fire products derived from coarse (500m to 1km) spatial resolution satellite data have become an important source of information for the fire science and applications communities. There is however a demand for moderate spatial resolution burned area maps that are systematically generated at regional to global scale. This paper presents a multi-temporal methodology to fuse the MODIS 1km active fire product with Landsat data to map burned areas at 30m on a temporally rolling basis. A multistage mapping approach is used, with an initial per-pixel change detection on Landsat 30m time series to identify candidate burned areas. The candidate burned area objects are then either retained or discarded by comparison with contemporaneous MODIS active fire detections. Results are illustrated showing 30m burned area maps of the conterminous United States and Alaska for two years (2002 and 2008) generated from weekly Web Enabled Landsat (WELD) Landsat mosaics and daily Terra and Aqua MODIS active fire detections. Validation is conducted by systematic comparison with all the fire perimeter vectors provided by the USGS Monitoring Trends in Burn Severity project. The presented methodology pathfinds the use of the Landsat archive to contribute to a long term burned area data record. Prospects for future developments and global application are discussed.

  6. Quantifying wildfires exposure for investigating health-related effects

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Youssouf, H.; Liousse, C.; Roblou, L.; Assamoi, E. M.; Salonen, R. O.; Maesano, C.; Banerjee, S.; Annesi-Maesano, I.

    2014-11-01

    A wildfire is an uncontrolled fire in an area of combustible vegetation that occurs in the countryside or a wilderness area. The United Nation International Strategy for Disaster Reduction estimates that between 3 and 4 million km2 are affected by wildfire annually, with 18 000 km2 occurring in Europe. The Mediterranean region is one of the most affected regions by wildfires in Europe. Nearly 500 000 ha, on average, are burned annually by 50 000 wildfires in the countries of southern Europe bordering the Mediterranean Sea. Wildfires or biomass burning seriously damage ecosystems and affect public health. A major difficulty related to the assessment of health impact of wildfire emissions derives from the complexity of wildfire exposure assessments. Based on the literature, several methods, including satellite data, chemical transport models and, less often, personal exposure monitoring are available. However, few investigations have used methods allowing separating wildfires emissions from air pollutants emissions from urban sources having the same components. An inventory of wildfires occurred in Europe between 2006 and 2010 was obtained in terms of burnt areas, duration and related emissions of major air pollutants (black carbon, particulate matter), as obtained using a hybrid model that allows excluding anthropic sources of air pollution.

  7. Water repellency diminishes peatland evaporation after wildfire

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kettridge, N.; Lukenbach, M.; Hokanson, K. J.; Devito, K. J.; Petrone, R. M.; Hopkinson, C.; Waddington, J. M.

    2015-12-01

    Peatlands are a critically important global carbon reserve. There is increasing concern that such ecosystems are vulnerable to projected increases in wildfire severity under a changing climate. Severe fires may exceed peatland ecological resilience resulting in the long term degradation of this carbon store. Evaporation provides the primary mechanisms of water loss from such environments and can regulate the ecological stress in the initial years after wildfire. We examine variations in evaporation within burned peatlands after wildfire through small scale chamber and large scale remote sensing measurements. We show that near-surface water repellency limits peatland evaporation in these initial years post fire. Water repellent peat produced by the fire restricts the supply of water to the surface, reducing evaporation and providing a strong negative feedback to disturbance. This previously unidentified feedback operates at the landscape scale. High surface temperatures that result from large reductions in evaporation within water repellent peat are observed across the 60,000 ha burn scar three months after the wildfire. This large scale reduction in evaporation promotes high water table positions at a landscape scale which limits the rate of peat decomposition and supports the post fire ecohydrological recovery of the peatlands. However, severe burns are shown to exceed this negative feedback response. Deep burns at the peatland margins remove the hydrophobic layer, increasing post fire evaporation and leaving the peatland vulnerable to drying and associated ecological shifts.

  8. Water repellency diminishes peatland evaporation after wildfire

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kettridge, Nick; Lukenbach, Max; Hokanson, Kelly; Devito, Kevin; Hopkinson, Chris; Petrone, Rich; Mendoza, Carl; Waddington, Mike

    2016-04-01

    Peatlands are a critically important global carbon reserve. There is increasing concern that such ecosystems are vulnerable to projected increases in wildfire severity under a changing climate. Severe fires may exceed peatland ecological resilience resulting in the long term degradation of this carbon store. Evaporation provides the primary mechanisms of water loss from such environments and can regulate the ecological stress in the initial years after wildfire. We examine variations in evaporation within burned peatlands after wildfire through small scale chamber and large scale remote sensing measurements. We show that near-surface water repellency limits peatland evaporation in these initial years post fire. Water repellent peat produced by the fire restricts the supply of water to the surface, reducing evaporation and providing a strong negative feedback to disturbance. This previously unidentified feedback operates at the landscape scale. High surface temperatures that result from large reductions in evaporation within water repellent peat are observed across the 60,000 ha burn scar three months after the wildfire. This promotes high water table positions at a landscape scale which limit the rate of peat decomposition and supports the post fire ecohydrological recovery of the peatlands. However, severe burns are shown to exceed this negative feedback response. Deep burns at the peatland margins remove the hydrophobic layer, increasing post fire evaporation and leaving the peatland vulnerable to drying and associated ecological shifts.

  9. Mapping continental-scale biomass burning and smoke palls from the space shuttle

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Lulla, Kamlesh; Helfert, Michael

    1992-01-01

    Space shuttle photographs have been used to map the areal extent of Amazonian smoke palls associated with biomass burning. Areas covered with smoke have increased from approximately 300,000 sq km to continental-size smoke palls of approximately 3,000,000 sq km. The smoke palls interpreted from the STS-48 data indicate that this phenomenon is persistent. Astronaut observations of such dynamic and vital environmental phenomena indicate the possibility of intergrating the earth observation capabilities of all space platforms in future modeling of the earth's dynamic processes.

  10. A 30-year chronosequence of burned areas in Arizona: effects of wildfires on vegetation in Sonoran Desert Tortoise (Gopherus morafkai) habitats

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Shryock, Daniel F.; Esque, Todd C.; Chen, Felicia C.

    2015-01-01

    Fire is widely regarded as a key evolutionary force in fire-prone ecosystems, with effects spanning multiple levels of organization, from species and functional group composition through landscape-scale vegetation structure, biomass, and diversity (Pausas and others, 2004; Bond and Keeley 2005; Pausas and Verdu, 2008). Ecosystems subjected to novel fire regimes may experience profound changes that are difficult to predict, including persistent losses of vegetation cover and diversity (McLaughlin and Bowers, 1982; Brown and Minnich, 1986; Brooks, 2012), losses to seed banks (Esque and others, 2010a), changes in demographic processes (Esque and others, 2004; DeFalco and others, 2010), increased erosion (Soulard and others, 2013), changes in nutrient availability (Esque and others, 2010b), increased dominance of invasive species (Esque and others, 2002; Brooks and others, 2004), and transitions to alternative community states (Davies and others, 2012). In the deserts of the Southwestern United States, fire size and frequency have increased substantially over the last several decades because of an invasive grass/fire feedback cycle (Schmid and Rogers, 1988; D’Antonio and Vitousek, 1992; Swantek and others, 1999; Brooks and Matchett, 2006; Esque and others, 2010a), in which invasive annual species are able to establish fuel loads capable of sustaining large-scale wildfires following years of high rainfall (Esque and Schwalbe, 2002). Native perennial vegetation is not well-adapted to fire in these environments, and widespread, physiognomically dominant species such as creosote bush (Larrea tridentata), Joshua tree (Yucca brevifolia), giant saguaro cactus (Carnegiea gigantea), and paloverde (Parkinsonia spp.) may be reduced or eliminated (Brown and Minnich, 1986; Esque and others, 2006; DeFalco and others, 2010), potentially affecting wildlife populations including the Sonoran and federally threatened Mojave Desert Tortoises (Gopherus morafkai and Gopherus agassizii

  11. A characterization methodology for post-wildfire flood hazard assessments

    SciTech Connect

    McLin, Stephen G.; Van Eeckhout, M. E.; Springer, E. P.; Lane, Leonard J.

    2001-01-01

    A combined GIS-HEC modeling application for floodplain analysis of pre- and post-burned watersheds is described. The burned study area is located on Pajarito Plateau near Los Alamos, New Mexico (USA), where the Cerro Grande Wildfire burned 17,353 ha (42,878 ac) in May 2000. This area is dominated by rugged mountains that are dissected by numerous steep canyons having both ephemeral and perennial channel reaches. Vegetation consists of pinon-juniper woodlands located between 1,829-2,134 m (6,000-7,000 ft) above mean sea level (m MSL), and Ponderosa pine stands between 2,134-3,048 m MSL (7,000-10,000 ft). Approximately seventeen percent of the burned area is located within Los Alamos National Laboratory, and the remainder is located in upstream or adjacent watersheds. Pre-burn floodplains were previously mapped in 1991-92 using early HEC models as part of the RCRA/HSWA permitting process. Numerous recording precipitation and stream gages have also been installed. These data provide essential information characterizing rainfall-runoff relationships before and after the fire. They are also being used to monitor spatial and temporal changes as forest recovery progresses. Post-burn changes in HEC-HMS predicted rainfall-runoff patterns are related to changes in watershed vegetation cover and hydrophobic soil conditions. Stream channel cross-sectional geometries were extracted from 0.3 m (1 ft) DEM data using ArcView GIS. Then floodpool topwidths, depths, and flow velocities were remapped using the HEC-RAS model. Finally, numerous surveyed channel sections were selectively made at crucial sites for model verification. Direct comparisons are made between alternative data acquisition and mapping techniques.

  12. Drainage networks after wildfire

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Kinner, D.A.; Moody, J.A.

    2005-01-01

    Predicting runoff and erosion from watersheds burned by wildfires requires an understanding of the three-dimensional structure of both hillslope and channel drainage networks. We investigate the small-and large-scale structures of drainage networks using field studies and computer analysis of 30-m digital elevation model. Topologic variables were derived from a composite 30-m DEM, which included 14 order 6 watersheds within the Pikes Peak batholith. Both topologic and hydraulic variables were measured in the field in two smaller burned watersheds (3.7 and 7.0 hectares) located within one of the order 6 watersheds burned by the 1996 Buffalo Creek Fire in Central Colorado. Horton ratios of topologic variables (stream number, drainage area, stream length, and stream slope) for small-scale and large-scale watersheds are shown to scale geometrically with stream order (i.e., to be scale invariant). However, the ratios derived for the large-scale drainage networks could not be used to predict the rill and gully drainage network structure. Hydraulic variables (width, depth, cross-sectional area, and bed roughness) for small-scale drainage networks were found to be scale invariant across 3 to 4 stream orders. The relation between hydraulic radius and cross-sectional area is similar for rills and gullies, suggesting that their geometry can be treated similarly in hydraulic modeling. Additionally, the rills and gullies have relatively small width-to-depth ratios, implying sidewall friction may be important to the erosion and evolutionary process relative to main stem channels.

  13. Greek Wildfires

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    2002-01-01

    Hot, dry weather has contributed to a string of fires that burned in Greece during the first two weeks of July 2000. Smoke from one of these fires is streaming across Greece and out into the Aegean Sea in this image taken July 13, 2000, by the Sea-viewing Wide Field of view Sensor (SeaWiFS). For more about SeaWiFS, visit the SeaWiFS home page. Provided by the SeaWiFS Project, NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center, and ORBIMAGE

  14. Assessment of the vegetation cover in a burned area 22-years ago using remote sensing techniques and GIS analysis (Sierra de las Nieves, South of Spain).

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Martínez-Murillo, Juan F.; Remond, Ricardo; Ruiz-Sinoga, José D.

    2015-04-01

    The study aim was to characterize the vegetation cover in a burned area 22-years ago considering the previous situation to wildfire in 1991 and the current one in 2013. The objectives were to: (i) compare the current and previous vegetation cover to widlfire; (ii) evaluate whether the current vegetation has recovered the previous cover to wildfire; and (iii) determine the spatial variability of vegetation recovery after 22-years since the wildfire. The study area is located in Sierra de las Nieves, South of Spain. It corresponds to an area affected by a wildfire in August 8th, 1991. The burned area was equal to 8156 ha. The burn severity was spatially very high. The main geographic features of the burned area are: mountainous topography (altitudes ranging from 250 m to 1500 m; slope gradient >25%; exposure mainly southfacing); igneous (peridotites), metamorphic (gneiss) and calcareous rocks (limestones); and predominant forest land use (Pinus pinaster sp. woodlands, 10%; pinus opened forest + shrubland, 40%; shrubland, 35%; and bare soil + grassland, 15%). Remote sensing techniques and GIS analysis has been applied to achieve the objectives. Landsat 5 and Landsat 8 images were used: July 13th, 1991 and July 1st, 2013, for the previous wildfire situation and 22-years after, respectively. The 1990 CORINE land cover was also considered to map 1991 land uses prior the wildfire. Likewise, the Andalucía Regional Government wildfire historic records were used to select the burned area and its geographical limit. 1991 and 2013 land cover map were obtained by means of object-oriented classifications. Also, NDVI and PVI1 vegetation indexes were calculated and mapped for both years. Finally, some images transformations and kernel density images were applied to determine the most recovered areas and to map the spatial concentration of bare soil and pine cover areas in 1991 and 2013, respectively. According to the results, the combination of remote sensing and GIS analysis let

  15. Headwaters, Wetlands, and Wildfires: Utilizing Landsat imagery, GIS, and Statistical Models for Mapping Wetlands in Northern Colorado's Cache la Poudre Watershed in the aftermath of the June 2012 High Park Fire

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chignell, S.; Skach, S.; Kessenich, B.; Weimer, A.; Luizza, M.; Birtwistle, A.; Evangelista, P.; Laituri, M.; Young, N.

    2013-12-01

    The June 2012 High Park Fire burned over 87,000 acres of forest and 259 homes to the west of Fort Collins, CO. The fire has had dramatic impacts on forest ecosystems; of particular concern are its effects on the Cache la Poudre watershed, as the Poudre River is one of the most important headwaters of the Colorado Front Range, providing important ecosystem and economic services before flowing into the South Platte, which in turn flows into the Missouri River. Within a week of the fire, the area received several days of torrential rains. This precipitation--in conjunction with steep riverbanks and the loss of vegetation by fire--caused soil and ash runoff to be deposited into the Poudre's channel, resulting in a river of choking mud and black sludge. Monitoring the effects of such wildfires is critical and requires establishing immediate baseline data to assess impacts over time. Of particular concern is the region's wetlands, which not only provide habitat for a rich array of flora and fauna, but help regulate river discharge, improve water quality, and aid in carbon sequestration. However, the high expense of field work and the changing nature of wetlands have left many of the area's wetland maps incomplete and in need of updating. Utilizing Landsat 5 and Landsat 8 imagery, ancillary GIS layers, and boosted regression trees modeling, the NASA DEVELOP team based at the North Central Climate Science Center at Colorado State University developed a methodology for wetland modeling within the Cache la Poudre watershed. These efforts produced a preliminary model of predicted wetlands across the landscape that correctly classified 89% of the withheld validation points and had a kappa value of approximately 0.78. This initial model is currently being refined and validated using the USGS Software for Assisted Habitat Modeling (SAHM) to run multiple models within three elevation-based 'life zones.' The ultimate goal of this ongoing project is to provide important spatial

  16. Detecting Moorland Wildfire Scars and their Persistence in the Landscape using Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) in the Peak District National Park, UK

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Millin-chalabi, G. R.; McMorrow, J.; Agnew, C.

    2012-12-01

    The overall aim of this research is to assess the ability of SAR to detect moorland wildfire scars and their persistence in the landscape using the Peak District National Park (PDNP) in the UK as a case study. Spatially-robust data to monitor wildfire scar size and severity in UK moorlands is currently rare. Fires can burn deep into peat soils and contribute to the release of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere and may also affect the water quality of nearby streams. Information on fire extent would be useful for conservation organisations such as Moors For The Future who are trying to preserve the delicate peatland environment. Knowing the size and location of fire scars would help the Fire and Rescue Service to plan future response to moorland fires. Fire scar boundaries can be mapped in the field using Global Positioning Systems (GPS), however this is labour intensive. Indeed in the PDNP wildfire scar mapping is conducted by park rangers which provides essential ground truth data for assessing against the SAR data. Therefore this particular area provides a unique opportunity for testing an alternative SAR technique for monitoring wildfire scars in the moorland landscape. Previous research shows that SAR has been successfully applied for wildfire scar detection in other types of environments such as boreal (Bourgeau-Chavez et al, 1997) and the tropics (Huang and Siegert, 2004). This research presents some of the first results of the project which tests the capability of ERS 2; ASAR (C-band) and PALSAR (L-band) data to detect several wildfire scars from 2003 - 2008 of various spatial scales and fire severity. Some of the key areas of interest the paper will explore are at Bleaklow and the Kinder plateau. The Bleaklow peat fire of 18th April 2003 was larger (7km2) and more severe than at Kinder, which burned between 26-29th May 2008 and covered an area of 10 ha. All the wildfire scars were GPS, mapped just after the fire event. Archival time-series SAR imagery was

  17. Quantifying post-wildfire erosion patterns using terrestrial LiDAR

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rengers, F.; Tucker, G. E.; Moody, J. A.

    2012-12-01

    Wildfires are becoming increasingly frequent in the western United States. In burned landscapes, geomorphic change can take place rapidly during rainstorms following a wildfire. Rainfall over a burned area tends to mobilize more sediment than in unburned basins because the wildfire changes soil properties, creating more overland flow. A dearth of ground debris allows for deeper and faster flow that can entrain sediment. We apply terrestrial LiDAR to post-wildfire geomorphic change analysis to determine the pattern and magnitude of erosion following rain storms. By differencing digital elevation models created from terrestrial LiDAR surveys, we can measure post-wildfire geomorphic change. Topographic analysis with LiDAR allows us to monitor landscape recovery and evolution following a wildfire. Traditional methods of post-wildfire erosion analysis have focused on measurements such as erosion pins and silt fences. These capture erosion or deposition at a point or cumulative deposition of the sediment from some unknown contributing area upstream of the silt fence. This requires researchers to integrate measurements over a large area to determine basin-wide erosion. By contrast, successive terrestrial LiDAR surveys allow us to map changes in topography over an entire basin or hillslope to determine the spatial distribution of erosion within a basin or on a hillslope and to correlate the erosion with the hydrologic processes between surveys. Our study site is a high-severity burn hillslope, burned by the 2010 Fourmile Canyon fire about 15 km west of Boulder, CO. The wildfire was contained on 16 September 2010 and the first LiDAR survey was on 7 October 2010 prior to any significant rain storms. Following this baseline survey, we have used terrestrial LiDAR to capture the landscape state before and after unique hydrologic events such as: low-intensity rain storms, winter snowmelt, and summer convective thunderstorms. Comparing the landscape topography before and after

  18. Post-wildfire erosion and mass movement in British Columbia: site-scale soil changes and catchment-scale processes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jordan, Peter

    2010-05-01

    Following the severe 2003 wildfire season in British Columbia, a number of damaging debris flow and flood incidents occurred. Such events had not previously been documented in Canada. The British Columbia Forest Service began a process to analyse risks of post-wildfire natural hazards, including a 3-year research project to study processes in several wildfires which occurred in 2007. The research project, and associated risk analysis work, includes: - mapping of soil and vegetation burn severity; - extent and persistence of water repellency in burned areas; - monitoring the effectiveness of straw mulching treatments to reduce runoff and erosion; - rainfall simulation experiments to study overland flow generation and soil erosion; - streamflow, suspended sediment, and bedload monitoring on adjacent burned and unburned catchments; - investigation of post-wildfire debris flow events. The study area is in a moist, snow-dominated, heavily forested, mountain landscape. Runoff in this region is dominated by spring snowmelt, and by long-duration, low-intensity rainfalls. High-intensity rainfalls occur rarely, but are less dominant in the hydrologic cycle than at lower latitudes. Since the study began, no high-intensity rainfalls exceeding about the 2-year return period have occurred in the study area. The project includes measurements ranging in scale from 1 m2 plots, to small tributary catchments (50 ha), to a large catchment (26 km2). Results to date show that increases in sediment yield at the catchment scale have been barely detectable, and are less than those caused by erosion from roads used for salvage logging. Although erosion on small plots is significantly increased in severely burned areas, sediment yield measured in instrumented catchments decreases downstream, illustrating the importance of ephemeral flow pathways and intermediate storage. Sometimes debris flows are triggered by increased surface runoff in headwater areas, resulting in a very high sediment

  19. Restoring forest structure and process stabilizes forest carbon in wildfire-prone southwestern ponderosa pine forests.

    PubMed

    Hurteau, Matthew D; Liang, Shuang; Martin, Katherine L; North, Malcolm P; Koch, George W; Hungate, Bruce A

    2016-03-01

    Changing climate and a legacy of fire-exclusion have increased the probability of high-severity wildfire, leading to an increased risk of forest carbon loss in ponderosa pine forests in the southwestern USA. Efforts to reduce high-severity fire risk through forest thinning and prescribed burning require both the removal and emission of carbon from these forests, and any potential carbon benefits from treatment may depend on the occurrence of wildfire. We sought to determine how forest treatments alter the effects of stochastic wildfire events on the forest carbon balance. We modeled three treatments (control, thin-only, and thin and burn) with and without the occurrence of wildfire. We evaluated how two different probabilities of wildfire occurrence, 1% and 2% per year, might alter the carbon balance of treatments. In the absence of wildfire, we found that thinning and burning treatments initially reduced total ecosystem carbon (TEC) and increased net ecosystem carbon balance (NECB). In the presence of wildfire, the thin and burn treatment TEC surpassed that of the control in year 40 at 2%/yr wildfire probability, and in year 51 at 1%/yr wildfire probability. NECB in the presence of wildfire showed a similar response to the no-wildfire scenarios: both thin-only and thin and burn treatments increased the C sink. Treatments increased TEC by reducing both mean wildfire severity and its variability. While the carbon balance of treatments may differ in more productive forest types, the carbon balance benefits from restoring forest structure and fire in southwestern ponderosa pine forests are clear. PMID:27209781

  20. Wildfire contribution to world-wide desertification.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Neary, D.; Wittenberg, L.; Bautista, S.; Ffolliott, P.

    2009-04-01

    Wildfire is a natural phenomenon that began with the development of terrestrial vegetation in a lightning-filled atmosphere. Sediments from the Carboniferous Period (307-359 million years before the present) contain evidence of charcoal from post-fire ash slurry flows. As human populations developed in the Pleistocene and Holocene epochs, mankind transformed fire into one of its oldest tools. Human and natural ignited fires from lightning altered and steered the trajectories of ecosystem development in most parts of the world. Humans are now the primary source of forest and grass fire ignitions throughout the world. As human populations have increased and industrialized in the past two centuries, fire ignitions and burned areas have increased due to both sheer numbers of people and anthropogenic changes in the global climate. Recent scientific findings have bolstered the hypothesis that climate change is resulting in fire seasons starting earlier, lasting longer, burning greater areas, and being more severe Computer models point to the Western U.S., Mediterranean nations and Brazil as "hot spots" that will get extremes at their worst. The climatic change to drier and warmer conditions has the potential to aggravate wildfire conditions, resulting in burning over longer seasons, larger areas of vegetation conflagration, and higher fire severities. Wildfire is now driving desertification in some of the forest lands in the western United States. The areas of wildfire in the Southwest USA have increased dramatically in the past two decades from <10,000 ha yr-1 in the early 20th Century to over 230,000 ha yr-1 in the first decade of the 21st Century. Individual wildfires are now larger and produce higher severity burns than in the past. A combination of natural drought, climate change, excessive fuel loads, and increased ignition sources have produced the perfect conditions for fire-induced desertification. Portugal suffered the worst and second worst wildfire seasons in

  1. Green Science: Wildfires

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Palliser, Janna

    2012-01-01

    Every summer, fires rage in different areas of the western United States. They are often massive, out of control, and extremely destructive. How do these fires begin and how are they controlled? What are the overall impacts of a wildfire? Are there any benefits of a wildfire? These questions will be addressed in this article. (Contains 3 online…

  2. Pattern and process of prescribed fires influence effectiveness at reducing wildfire severity in dry coniferous forests

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Arkle, Robert S.; Pilliod, David S.; Welty, Justin L.

    2012-01-01

    We examined the effects of three early season (spring) prescribed fires on burn severity patterns of summer wildfires that occurred 1–3 years post-treatment in a mixed conifer forest in central Idaho. Wildfire and prescribed fire burn severities were estimated as the difference in normalized burn ratio (dNBR) using Landsat imagery. We used GIS derived vegetation, topography, and treatment variables to generate models predicting the wildfire burn severity of 1286–5500 30-m pixels within and around treated areas. We found that wildfire severity was significantly lower in treated areas than in untreated areas and significantly lower than the potential wildfire severity of the treated areas had treatments not been implemented. At the pixel level, wildfire severity was best predicted by an interaction between prescribed fire severity, topographic moisture, heat load, and pre-fire vegetation volume. Prescribed fire severity and vegetation volume were the most influential predictors. Prescribed fire severity, and its influence on wildfire severity, was highest in relatively warm and dry locations, which were able to burn under spring conditions. In contrast, wildfire severity peaked in cooler, more mesic locations that dried later in the summer and supported greater vegetation volume. We found considerable evidence that prescribed fires have landscape-level influences within treatment boundaries; most notable was an interaction between distance from the prescribed fire perimeter and distance from treated patch edges, which explained up to 66% of the variation in wildfire severity. Early season prescribed fires may not directly target the locations most at risk of high severity wildfire, but proximity of these areas to treated patches and the discontinuity of fuels following treatment may influence wildfire severity and explain how even low severity treatments can be effective management tools in fire-prone landscapes.

  3. Modeling the effect of climatological drought on European wildfire extent

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Stagge, James H.; Dias, Susana; Rego, Francisco; Tallaksen, Lena M.

    2014-05-01

    Wildfires are a natural hazard most commonly associated with the Mediterranean region in Europe, but which can affect all regions and cause significant impact and damage. Because vegetation dryness is a primary factor in both the ignition and spread of wildfires, it is assumed that there is a link between climatological drought and wildfire extent in Europe. The objective of this study is therefore to test this link between wildfire extent, defined by area burned, and several climatological drought indices across all geoclimatic regions of Europe, eventually determining the relative effect and most relevant combination of these indices on fire extent. Using the European Fire Database, compiled by the EU Joint Research Centre, these analyses are performed at the national and sub-national (NUTS 1,2,3) scale for 22 countries. Drought indices used as predictor variables include the Standardized Precipitation Index (SPI) and the Standardized Precipitation-Evapotranspiration Index (SPEI), which calculate anomalies in precipitation and climatic water balance, respectively, accumulated over several periods (1, 2, 3, 6, 9, 12, and 24 months). Climate data is based on the gridded Watch Forcing Dataset ERA-Interim (WFDEI), which spans the duration of the wildfire series (1985-2010). Two methods of analysis are used in this study. First, the annual maximum wildfire extent for each country or region is modeled using multiple linear regression for all possible linear combinations of the drought indices. Second, wildfire extent is modeled individually for each month to determine how the relevant drought indices change throughout the wildfire season. Preliminary results show that, for the majority of European countries, wildfire extent is most strongly related to short-term (2-3 month) SPEI anomalies, which represent a combined lack of precipitation and increased evapotranspiration associated with high temperatures. Longer accumulated dryness (6-9 months) was also related to

  4. The worldwide "wildfire" problem.

    PubMed

    Gill, A Malcolm; Stephens, Scott L; Cary, Geoffrey J

    2013-03-01

    The worldwide "wildfire" problem is headlined by the loss of human lives and homes, but it applies generally to any adverse effects of unplanned fires, as events or regimes, on a wide range of environmental, social, and economic assets. The problem is complex and contingent, requiring continual attention to the changing circumstances of stakeholders, landscapes, and ecosystems; it occurs at a variety of temporal and spatial scales. Minimizing adverse outcomes involves controlling fires and fire regimes, increasing the resistance of assets to fires, locating or relocating assets away from the path of fires, and, as a probability of adverse impacts often remains, assisting recovery in the short-term while promoting the adaptation of societies in the long-term. There are short- and long-term aspects to each aspect of minimization. Controlling fires and fire regimes may involve fire suppression and fuel treatments such as prescribed burning or non-fire treatments but also addresses issues associated with unwanted fire starts like arson. Increasing the resistance of assets can mean addressing the design and construction materials of a house or the use of personal protective equipment. Locating or relocating assets can mean leaving an area about to be impacted by fire or choosing a suitable place to live; it can also mean the planning of land use. Assisting recovery and promoting adaptation can involve insuring assets and sharing responsibility for preparedness for an event. There is no single, simple, solution. Perverse outcomes can occur. The number of minimizing techniques used, and the breadth and depth of their application, depends on the geographic mix of asset types. Premises for policy consideration are presented. PMID:23634593

  5. Stormwater contaminant loading following southern California wildfires.

    PubMed

    Stein, Eric D; Brown, Jeffrey S; Hogue, Terri S; Burke, Megan P; Kinoshita, Alicia

    2012-11-01

    Contaminant loading associated with stormwater runoff from recently burned areas is poorly understood, despite the fact that it has the potential to affect downstream water quality. The goal of the present study is to assess regional patterns of runoff and contaminant loading from wildfires in urban fringe areas of southern California. Postfire stormwater runoff was sampled from five wildfires that each burned between 115 and 658 km(2) of natural open space between 2003 and 2009. Between two and five storm events were sampled per site over the first one to two years following the fires for basic constituents, metals, nutrients, total suspended solids, and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs). Results were compared to data from 16 unburned natural areas and six developed sites. Mean copper, lead, and zinc flux (kg/km(2)) were between 112- and 736-fold higher from burned catchments and total phosphorus was up to 921-fold higher compared to unburned natural areas. Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon flux was four times greater from burned areas than from adjacent urban areas. Ash fallout on nearby unburned watersheds also resulted in a threefold increase in metals and PAHs. Attenuation of elevated concentration and flux values appears to be driven mainly by rainfall magnitude. Contaminant loading from burned landscapes has the potential to be a substantial contribution to the total annual load to downstream areas in the first several years following fires. PMID:22927117

  6. Semi-automated mapping of burned areas in semi-arid ecosystems using MODIS time-series imagery

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hardtke, Leonardo A.; Blanco, Paula D.; Valle, Héctor F. del; Metternicht, Graciela I.; Sione, Walter F.

    2015-06-01

    Understanding spatial and temporal patterns of burned areas at regional scales, provides a long-term perspective of fire processes and its effects on ecosystems and vegetation recovery patterns, and it is a key factor to design prevention and post-fire restoration plans and strategies. Remote sensing has become the most widely used tool to detect fire affected areas over large tracts of land (e.g., ecosystem, regional and global levels). Standard satellite burned area and active fire products derived from the 500-m Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) and the Satellite Pour l'Observation de la Terre (SPOT) are available to this end. However, prior research caution on the use of these global-scale products for regional and sub-regional applications. Consequently, we propose a novel semi-automated algorithm for identification and mapping of burned areas at regional scale. The semi-arid Monte shrublands, a biome covering 240,000 km2 in the western part of Argentina, and exposed to seasonal bushfires was selected as the test area. The algorithm uses a set of the normalized burned ratio index products derived from MODIS time series; using a two-phased cycle, it firstly detects potentially burned pixels while keeping a low commission error (false detection of burned areas), and subsequently labels them as seed patches. Region growing image segmentation algorithms are applied to the seed patches in the second-phase, to define the perimeter of fire affected areas while decreasing omission errors (missing real burned areas). Independently-derived Landsat ETM+ burned-area reference data was used for validation purposes. Additionally, the performance of the adaptive algorithm was assessed against standard global fire products derived from MODIS Aqua and Terra satellites, total burned area (MCD45A1), the active fire algorithm (MOD14); and the L3JRC SPOT VEGETATION 1 km GLOBCARBON products. The correlation between the size of burned areas detected by the global

  7. Analyzing seasonal patterns of wildfire exposure factors in Sardinia, Italy.

    PubMed

    Salis, Michele; Ager, Alan A; Alcasena, Fermin J; Arca, Bachisio; Finney, Mark A; Pellizzaro, Grazia; Spano, Donatella

    2015-01-01

    In this paper, we applied landscape scale wildfire simulation modeling to explore the spatiotemporal patterns of wildfire likelihood and intensity in the island of Sardinia (Italy). We also performed wildfire exposure analysis for selected highly valued resources on the island to identify areas characterized by high risk. We observed substantial variation in burn probability, fire size, and flame length among time periods within the fire season, which starts in early June and ends in late September. Peak burn probability and flame length were observed in late July. We found that patterns of wildfire likelihood and intensity were mainly related to spatiotemporal variation in ignition locations, fuel moisture, and wind vectors. Our modeling approach allowed consideration of historical patterns of winds, ignition locations, and live and dead fuel moisture on fire exposure factors. The methodology proposed can be useful for analyzing potential wildfire risk and effects at landscape scale, evaluating historical changes and future trends in wildfire exposure, as well as for addressing and informing fuel management and risk mitigation issues. PMID:25471625

  8. Impacts of regional climate variability and change on U.S. wildfire

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Liu, Y.

    2008-05-01

    Atmospheric condition is one of the factors affecting wildfire. Anomalous weather events such as droughts are a major contributor to intense wildfires. Climate change due to the greenhouse effect is expected to lead to significant wildfire disturbances. This study investigates the impacts of regional climate variability and change on wildfires in the contiguous United States. A severe drought and intense wildfire case is first simulated with the NCAR regional climate model. For comparison, simulation is also conducted for a flood event. Wildfire danger indices are estimated using model outputs. The results indicate that soil water content is close to its wilting point during the drought period. The fire danger indices point out a high risk of wildfire. This agrees with the reported wildfire activity that shows much more intense wildfires during the drought than flood period. A statistical analysis is then made. Singular value decomposition is applied to historical wildfire and antecedent sea surface temperature (SST). It is found that warming in the North Pacific is a major feature in the SST spatial pattern related to intense wildfires in the northwestern U.S. The warming signals were observed in all the major wildfire events during the past two decades. The SST anomaly therefore can be used as a predictor for wildfires in this region. Finally, future disturbances in wildfires are predicted based on the projected climate change with climate models under various IPCC SRES scenarios. The burned areas by wildfire in the western U.S. are expected to increase dramatically by the end of this century.

  9. Mapping continental-scale biomass burning and smoke palls over the Amazon basin as observed from the Space Shuttle

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Helfert, Michael R.; Lulla, Kamlesh P.

    1990-01-01

    Space Shuttle and Skylab-3 photography has been used to map the areal extent of Amazonian smoke palls associated with biomass burning (1973-1988). Areas covered with smoke have increased from approximately 300,000 sq km in 1973 to continental-size smoke palls measuring approximately 3,000,000 sq km in 1985 and 1988. Mapping of these smoke palls has been accomplished using space photography mainly acquired during Space Shuttle missions. Astronaut observations of such dynamic and vital environmental phenomena indicate the possibility of integrating the earth observation capabilities of all space platforms in future Global Change research.

  10. Climate change and wildfire around southern Africa

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kimura, K.

    2013-12-01

    When the climate change in southern Africa is analyzed, the effects of rainfall by Inter Tropical Convergence Zone(ITCZ) and cyclone are important. In this study, the rainfall patterns are analyzed with synoptic analysis. The southern limit of ITCZ is around the arid zone around Namibia, Botswana, Zimbabwe and Mozambique. This zone has some effects of both ITCZ and extratropical cyclones by season. As well as this, the eastern part of this area has heavy rainfall by the cyclone from the Indian Ocean once in several years. In the other hand, a lot of wildfire occurs in this area. The main cause of the wildfire is anthropogenic misbehavior of the fire by the slash-and-burn agriculture. Recently we can find the wildfire detected with the satellite imagery like Terra/Aqua MODIS. We can compare the weather environment and the wildfire occurrence with Geographical Information System. We have tried making the fire weather index suitable for the southern African semi-arid area.

  11. Case study: Wildfire visualization

    SciTech Connect

    Ahrens, J.; McCormick, P.; Bossert, J.; Reisner, J.; Winterkamp, J.

    1997-11-01

    The ability to forecast the progress of crisis events would significantly reduce human suffering and loss of life, the destruction of property, and expenditures for assessment and recovery. Los Alamos National Laboratory has established a scientific thrust in crisis forecasting to address this national challenge. In the initial phase of this project, scientists at Los Alamos are developing computer models to predict the spread of a wildfire. Visualization of the results of the wildfire simulation will be used by scientists to assess the quality of the simulation and eventually by fire personnel as a visual forecast of the wildfire`s evolution. The fire personnel and scientists want the visualization to look as realistic as possible without compromising scientific accuracy. This paper describes how the visualization was created, analyzes the tools and approach that was used, and suggests directions for future work and research.

  12. Climate and Wildfire in the Western United States.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Westerling, A. L.; Gershunov, A.; Brown, T. J.; Cayan, D. R.; Dettinger, M. D.

    2003-05-01

    A 21-yr gridded monthly fire-starts and acres-burned dataset from U.S. Forest Service, Bureau of Land Management, National Park Service, and Bureau of Indian Affairs fire reports recreates the seasonality and interannual variability of wildfire in the western United States. Despite pervasive human influence in western fire regimes, it is striking how strongly these data reveal a fire season responding to variations in climate. Correlating anomalous wildfire frequency and extent with the Palmer Drought Severity Index illustrates the importance of prior and accumulated precipitation anomalies for future wildfire season severity. This link to antecedent seasons' moisture conditions varies widely with differences in predominant fuel type. Furthermore, these data demonstrate that the relationship between wildfire season severity and observed moisture anomalies from antecedent seasons is strong enough to forecast fire season severity at lead times of one season to a year in advance.

  13. Fire and Fish: Using Radiocarbon And Stratigraphy To Discern The Impact Of Wildfire On Fish Metapopulations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Schaffrath, K. R.; Finch, C.; Belmont, P.; Budy, P.

    2015-12-01

    Wildfires have profound and variable impacts on erosion, channel morphology, and aquatic habitat. Previous research has quantified post-fire geomorphic response on event and millennial timescales. While these studies have informed our understanding of post-fire geomorphic response during the Holocene, we have yet to fully understand the variability of post-wildfire geomorphic response and how it might change in response to changing climate. Response of aquatic biota is just as variable as post-wildfire response yet we know very little about effects on metapopulations and how management decisions affect aquatic populations. Barriers to movement are installed to isolate native fish populations and prescribed fire and thinning are used to try to reduce future wildfire severity and extent. In order to improve understanding of the implications of management decisions, we evaluated geomorphic response and synchronicity of wildfires over the Holocene relative to the impact to the metapopulation of Bonneville cutthroat trout from a recent wildfire. The Twitchell Canyon fire burned 45,000 acres near Beaver, UT in July 2010. Over 30% of the area burned at high severity, which included two major headwater streams that sustained a trout population. In summer 2011, monsoonal thunderstorms caused massive debris flows and sheetflow erosion that altered channel morphology and aquatic habitat in the burned area. A previously robust, non-native trout fishery was nearly extirpated as a result of the geomorphic response to the wildfire. We used radiocarbon dating of burned material to determine how often headwater streams burned synchronously over the Holocene. Radiocarbon dates are associated with field observations of stratigraphy in order to infer geomorphic response to historic wildfires. Thirty samples were collected from sediment layers in 10 alluvial fans distributed among three watersheds (two burned and one unburned in the 2010 fire). Preliminary results suggest that we

  14. High-Resolution Mapping of Biomass Burning Emissions in Three Tropical Regions.

    PubMed

    Shi, Yusheng; Matsunaga, Tsuneo; Yamaguchi, Yasushi

    2015-09-15

    Biomass burning in tropical regions plays a significant role in atmospheric pollution and climate change. This study quantified a comprehensive monthly biomass burning emissions inventory with 1 km high spatial resolution, which included the burning of vegetation, human waste, and fuelwood for 2010 in three tropical regions. The estimations were based on the available burned area product MCD64A1 and statistical data. The total emissions of all gases and aerosols were 17382 Tg of CO2, 719 Tg of CO, 30 Tg of CH4, 29 Tg of NOx, 114 Tg of NMOC (nonmethane organic compounds), 7 Tg of SO2, 10 Tg of NH3, 79 Tg of PM2.5 (particulate matter), 45 Tg of OC (organic carbon), and 6 Tg of BC (black carbon). Taking CO as an example, vegetation burning accounted for 74% (530 Tg) of the total CO emissions, followed by fuelwood combustion and human waste burning. Africa was the biggest emitter (440 Tg), larger than Central and South America (113 Tg) and South and Southeast Asia (166 Tg). We also noticed that the dominant fire types in vegetation burning of these three regions were woody savanna/shrubland, savanna/grassland, and forest, respectively. Although there were some slight overestimations, our results are supported by comparisons with previously published data. PMID:26287650

  15. Impacts of Wildfire on Throughfall and Stemflow Precipitation Chemistry

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    White, A. M.; McIntosh, J. C.; Meixner, T.; Brooks, P. D.; Chorover, J.

    2014-12-01

    The occurrence of large, stand replacing wildfires is more frequent in the western United States now than ever before. The loss of canopy cover due to wildfire drastically modifies landscapes and alters ecosystems as high intensity burns replace canopies with charred branches and trunks, change soil composition and erosion processes, and affect hydrologic flow paths and water chemistry. Precipitation that is not intercepted by the forest canopy makes its way to the forest floor as throughfall or stemflow. Tracking variations in the amount and chemistry of precipitation that interacts with burned versus unburned forest stands, as well as open precipitation, will help to quantify changes in hydrologic routing and catchment water chemistry caused by wildfire. This study investigates the effects of fire on the volume and chemical composition of precipitation diverted to the forest floor as stemflow and throughfall by observing the impact of the June 2013 Thompson Ridge wildfire in the Jemez River Basin Critical Zone Observatory field site in the Valles Caldera National Preserve of New Mexico. Throughfall and stemflow collectors were installed beneath both burned and unburned canopies and open areas in two catchments impacted by the Thompson Ridge fire. Initial results of field parameters, including electrical conductivity, pH and volume of precipitation collected from both burned and unburned sites, show variations across collector type (stemflow, throughfall and open precipitation), site location as the two catchments differ in aspect and gradient, and burn severity. Throughfall, stemflow and open precipitation samples were analyzed for trace metals, major cations, anions, nutrients and organic matter to determine how fire affects the chemical composition of the precipitation that interacts with burned canopies. This study is one of the first to quantify the relationship between wildfire and the chemistry and flux of stemflow and throughfall in conjunction with a full

  16. Increasing western US forest wildfire activity: sensitivity to changes in the timing of spring.

    PubMed

    Westerling, Anthony LeRoy

    2016-06-01

    Prior work shows western US forest wildfire activity increased abruptly in the mid-1980s. Large forest wildfires and areas burned in them have continued to increase over recent decades, with most of the increase in lightning-ignited fires. Northern US Rockies forests dominated early increases in wildfire activity, and still contributed 50% of the increase in large fires over the last decade. However, the percentage growth in wildfire activity in Pacific northwestern and southwestern US forests has rapidly increased over the last two decades. Wildfire numbers and burned area are also increasing in non-forest vegetation types. Wildfire activity appears strongly associated with warming and earlier spring snowmelt. Analysis of the drivers of forest wildfire sensitivity to changes in the timing of spring demonstrates that forests at elevations where the historical mean snow-free season ranged between two and four months, with relatively high cumulative warm-season actual evapotranspiration, have been most affected. Increases in large wildfires associated with earlier spring snowmelt scale exponentially with changes in moisture deficit, and moisture deficit changes can explain most of the spatial variability in forest wildfire regime response to the timing of spring.This article is part of the themed issue 'The interaction of fire and mankind'. PMID:27216510

  17. Wildfire effects on carbon stocks and emissions in fuels treated forests (Invited)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    North, M.; Hurteau, M.

    2010-12-01

    The large carbon stores of many of the worlds’ forests are prone to reversal from wildfire. Fuels treatments can reduce wildfire emissions but at an immediate carbon reduction cost. Comparing these tradeoffs in forest burned by wildfire, we found treatments reduced wildfire emissions by 58% but total carbon loss, including biomass removed, was higher than in untreated forest. However with only 3% of trees alive, untreated forests have more than 70% of their carbon in decomposing stocks likely making them a carbon source for several decades. In wildfire burned forest, fuels treatments have a higher immediate carbon loss ‘cost’, but a significant long-term benefit in avoided emissions from decomposition and reductions in carbon storage.

  18. The spatial domain of wildfire risk and response in the Wildland Urban Interface in Sydney, Australia

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Price, O. F.; Bradstock, R. A.

    2013-09-01

    In order to quantify the risks from fire at the Wildland Urban Interface (WUI), it is important to understand where fires occur and their likelihood of spreading to the WUI. For each of 999 fires in the Sydney region we calculated the distance between the ignition and the WUI, the fire weather and wind direction and whether it spread to the WUI. The likelihood of burning the WUI was analysed using binomial regression. Weather and distance interacted such that under mild weather conditions, the model predicted only a 5% chance that a fire starting more than 2.5 km from the interface would reach it, whereas when the conditions are extreme the predicted chance remained above 30% even at distances further than 10 km. Fires were more likely to spread to the WUI if the wind was from the west and in the western side of the region. We examined whether the management responses to wildfires are commensurate with risk by comparing the distribution of distance to the WUI of wildfires with roads and prescribed fires. Prescribed fires and roads were concentrated nearer to the WUI than wildfires as a whole, but further away than wildfires that burnt the WUI under extreme weather conditions (high risk fires). 79% of these high risk fires started within 2 km of the WUI, so there is some argument for concentrating more management effort near the WUI. By substituting climate change scenario weather into the statistical model, we predicted a small increase in the risk of fires spreading to the WUI, but the increase will be greater under extreme weather. This approach has a variety of uses, including mapping fire risk and improving the ability to match fire management responses to the threat from each fire. They also provide a baseline from which a cost-benefit analysis of complementary fire management strategies can be conducted.

  19. The spatial domain of wildfire risk and response in the wildland urban interface in Sydney, Australia

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Price, O. F.; Bradstock, R. A.

    2013-12-01

    In order to quantify the risks from fire at the wildland urban interface (WUI), it is important to understand where fires occur and their likelihood of spreading to the WUI. For each of the 999 fires in the Sydney region we calculated the distance between the ignition and the WUI, the fire's weather and wind direction and whether it spread to the WUI. The likelihood of burning the WUI was analysed using binomial regression. Weather and distance interacted such that under mild weather conditions, the model predicted only a 5% chance that a fire starting >2.5 km from the interface would reach it, whereas when the conditions are extreme the predicted chance remained above 30% even at distances >10 km. Fires were more likely to spread to the WUI if the wind was from the west and in the western side of the region. We examined whether the management responses to wildfires are commensurate with risk by comparing the distribution of distance to the WUI of wildfires with roads and prescribed fires. Prescribed fires and roads were concentrated nearer to the WUI than wildfires as a whole, but further away than wildfires that burnt the WUI under extreme weather conditions (high risk fires). Overall, 79% of these high risk fires started within 2 km of the WUI, so there is some argument for concentrating more management effort near the WUI. By substituting climate change scenario weather into the statistical model, we predicted a small increase in the risk of fires spreading to the WUI, but the increase will be greater under extreme weather. This approach has a variety of uses, including mapping fire risk and improving the ability to match fire management responses to the threat from each fire. They also provide a baseline from which a cost-benefit analysis of complementary fire management strategies can be conducted.

  20. Wildfires Rage in Southern California

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    2003-01-01

    Large plumes of smoke rising from devastating wildfires burning near Los Angeles and San Diego on Sunday, October 26, 2003, are highlighted in this set of images from the Multi-angle Imaging SpectroRadiometer (MISR). These images include a natural color view from MISR's nadir camera (left) and an automated stereo height retrieval (right). The tops of the smoke plumes range in altitude from 500 - 3000 meters, and the stereo retrieval clearly differentiates the smoke from patches of high-altitude cirrus. Plumes are apparent from fires burning near the California-Mexico border, San Diego, Camp Pendleton, the foothills of the San Bernardino Mountains, and in and around Simi Valley. The majority of the smoke is coming from the fires near San Diego and the San Bernardino Mountains.

    The Multiangle Imaging Spectro Radiometer observes the daylit Earth continuously and every 9 days views the entire globe between 82o north and 82o south latitude. These data products were generated from a portion of the imagery acquired during Terra orbit 20510. The panels cover an area of 329 kilometers x 543 kilometers, and utilize data from blocks 62 to 66 within World Reference System-2 path 40.

    MISR was built and is managed by NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, CA, for NASA's Office of Earth Science, Washington, DC. The Terra satellite is managed by NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, MD. JPL is a division of the California Institute of Technology.

  1. Joint Use of Sentinel-1 and Landsat-8 data for Burned Areas Mapping: the Case of the Sardinia Island, Italy

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pepe, Antonio; Azar, Ramin; Calò, Fabiana; Stroppiana, Daniela; Brivio, Pietro Alessandro; Imperatore, Pasquale

    2016-04-01

    Fires widely affect Mediterranean regions, causing severe threats to human lives and damages to natural environments. The socio-economic impacts of fires on the affected local communities are significant, indeed, the activation of prevention measures and the extinguishment of fires and reclamation of the pre-fire conditions are very expensive. Moreover, fires have also global impacts: they affect global warming and climate changes due to gas and aerosol emissions to atmosphere. In such a context, fire scars mapping and monitoring are fundamental tasks for a sustainable management of natural resources and for the prevention/mitigation of fire risk. With this respect, remotely sensed data offer the opportunity for a regional-up-to-global scale monitoring of areas prone to fires, on a cost-effective and regular basis. In this work, the potential of a joint use of Sentinel-1A (C-band) Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) and Landsat-8 Operational Land Imager (OLI) data for detecting burned areas is investigated. The experimental analyses are conducted by focusing on Sardinia Island, which is one of the Italian regions most affected by fire events during summer. Our analysis shows that the capability of monitoring burned areas in the Mediterranean environment can be improved by exploiting information embedded in OLI multispectral bands in conjunction with multi-temporal dual-polarized SAR data. Indeed, limitations experienced in analyses based on the use of only optical data (e.g., cloud cover, spectral overlap/confusion of burned areas with dark soils, water surfaces and shaded regions) may be overcome by using SAR data, owing to the insensitiveness to sunlight-illumination conditions and the cloud-penetrating capability of microwave radiation. Results prove the effectiveness of an integrated approach based on the combination of optical and microwave imagery for the monitoring and mapping of burned areas in vegetated regions.

  2. Atlas of climatic controls of wildfire in the western United States

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Hostetler, S.W.; Bartlein, P.J.; Holman, J.O.

    2006-01-01

    Wildfire behavior depends on several factors including ecologic characteristics, near-term and antecedent climatic conditions,fuel availability and moisture level, weather, and sources of ignition (lightning or human). The variability and interplay of these factors over many spatial and temporal scales present an ongoing challenge to our ability to forecast a given wildfire season. Here we focus on one aspect of wildfire in the western US through a retrospective analysis of wildfire (starts and area burned) and climate over monthly time scales. We consider prefire conditions up to a year preceding fire outbreaks. For our analysis, we used daily and monthly wildfire records and a combination of observed and model-simulated atmospheric and surface climate data. The focus of this report is on monthly wildfire and climate for the period 1980-2000. Although a longer fire record is desirable, the 21-year record is the longest currently available and it is sufficient for the purpose of a first-order regional analysis. We present the main results in the form of a wildfire-climate atlas for 8 subregions of the West that can be used by resource managers to assess current wildfire conditions relative to high, normal, and low fire years in the historical record. Our results clearly demonstrate the link between wildfire conditions and a small set of climatic variables, and our methodology is a framework for providing near-real-time assessments of current wildfire conditions in the West.

  3. County-level analysis of the impact of temperature and population increases on California wildfire data

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Baltar, M.; Keeley, Jon E.; Schoenberg, F.P.

    2013-01-01

    The extent to which the apparent increase in wildfire incidence and burn area in California from 1990 to 2006 is affected by population and temperature increases is examined. Using generalized linear models with random effects, we focus on the estimated impacts of increases in mean daily temperatures and populations in different counties on wildfire in those counties, after essentially controlling for the overall differences between counties in their overall mean temperatures and populations. We find that temperature increase appears to have a significant positive impact on both total burn area and number of observed wildfires. Population growth appears to have a much less pronounced impact on total burn area than do annual temperature increases, and population growth appears to be negatively correlated with the total number of observed wildfires. These effects are especially pronounced in the winter season and in Southern California counties.

  4. Wildfire exposure and fuel management on western US national forests.

    PubMed

    Ager, Alan A; Day, Michelle A; McHugh, Charles W; Short, Karen; Gilbertson-Day, Julie; Finney, Mark A; Calkin, David E

    2014-12-01

    Substantial investments in fuel management activities on national forests in the western US are part of a national strategy to reduce human and ecological losses from catastrophic wildfire and create fire resilient landscapes. Prioritizing these investments within and among national forests remains a challenge, partly because a comprehensive assessment that establishes the current wildfire risk and exposure does not exist, making it difficult to identify national priorities and target specific areas for fuel management. To gain a broader understanding of wildfire exposure in the national forest system, we analyzed an array of simulated and empirical data on wildfire activity and fuel treatment investments on the 82 western US national forests. We first summarized recent fire data to examine variation among the Forests in ignition frequency and burned area in relation to investments in fuel reduction treatments. We then used simulation modeling to analyze fine-scale spatial variation in burn probability and intensity. We also estimated the probability of a mega-fire event on each of the Forests, and the transmission of fires ignited on national forests to the surrounding urban interface. The analysis showed a good correspondence between recent area burned and predictions from the simulation models. The modeling also illustrated the magnitude of the variation in both burn probability and intensity among and within Forests. Simulated burn probabilities in most instances were lower than historical, reflecting fire exclusion on many national forests. Simulated wildfire transmission from national forests to the urban interface was highly variable among the Forests. We discuss how the results of the study can be used to prioritize investments in hazardous fuel reduction within a comprehensive multi-scale risk management framework. PMID:24997402

  5. Wildfire Perception and Community Change

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Gordon, Jason S.; Matarrita-Cascante, David; Stedman, Richard C.; Luloff, A. E.

    2010-01-01

    Given increasing political and financial commitments to wildfire preparedness, risk policy demands that risk identification, assessment, and mitigation activities are balanced among diverse resident groups. Essential for this is the understanding of residents' perceptions of wildfire risks. This study compares wildfire-risk perceptions of…

  6. SEERISK concept: Dealing with climate change related hazards in southeast Europe: A common methodology for risk assessment and mapping focusing on floods, drought, winds, heat wave and wildfire.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Papathoma-Koehle, Maria; Promper, Catrin; Glade, Thomas

    2014-05-01

    Southeast Europe is a region that suffers often from natural hazards and has experienced significant losses in the recent past due to extreme weather conditions and their side-effects (cold and heat waves, extreme precipitation leading to floods / flash floods, thunderstorms, extreme winds, drought and wildfires). SEERISK ("Joint Disaster Management Risk Assessment and Preparedness in the Danube macro-region") is a European funded SEE (Southeast Europe) project that aims at the harmonisation and consistency among risk assessment practices undertaken by the partner countries at various levels regarding climate change related disasters. A common methodology for risk assessment has been developed that offers alternatives in order to tackle the problem of limited data. The methodology proposes alternative steps for hazard and vulnerability assessment that, according to the data availability, range from detailed modelling to expert judgement. In the present study the common methodology has been adapted for five hazard types (floods, drought, winds, heat wave and wildfire) that are expected to be affected by climate change in the future and are relevant for the specific study areas. The last step will be the application of the methodology in six different case studies in Hungary, Romania, Bosnia, Bulgaria, Slovakia and Serbia followed by field exercises.

  7. Risk analysis procedure for post-wildfire natural hazards in British Columbia

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jordan, Peter

    2010-05-01

    Following a severe wildfire season in 2003, and several subsequent damaging debris flow and flood events, the British Columbia Forest Service developed a procedure for analysing risks to public safety and infrastructure from such events. At the same time, the Forest Service undertook a research program to determine the extent of post-wildfire hazards, and examine the hydrologic and geomorphic processes contributing to the hazards. The risk analysis procedure follows the Canadian Standards Association decision-making framework for risk management (which in turn is based on international standards). This has several steps: identification of risk, risk analysis and estimation, evaluation of risk tolerability, developing control or mitigation strategies, and acting on these strategies. The Forest Service procedure deals only with the first two steps. The results are passed on to authorities such as the Provincial Emergency Program and local government, who are responsible for evaluating risks, warning residents, and applying mitigation strategies if appropriate. The objective of the procedure is to identify and analyse risks to public safety and infrastructure. The procedure is loosely based on the BAER (burned area emergency response) program in the USA, with some important differences. Our procedure focuses on identifying risks and warning affected parties, not on mitigation activities such as broadcast erosion control measures. Partly this is due to limited staff and financial resources. Also, our procedure is not multi-agency, but is limited to wildfires on provincial forest land; in British Columbia about 95% of forest land is in the publicly-owned provincial forest. Each fire season, wildfires are screened by size and proximity to values at risk such as populated areas. For selected fires, when the fire is largely contained, the procedure begins with an aerial reconnaissance of the fire, and photography with a hand-held camera, which can be used to make a

  8. Improving Long-term Post-wildfire hydrologic simulations using ParFlow

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lopez, S. R.; Kinoshita, A. M.

    2015-12-01

    Wildfires alter the natural hydrologic processes within a watershed. After vegetation is burned, the combustion of organic material and debris settles into the soil creating a hydrophobic layer beneath the soil surface with varying degree of thickness and depth. Vegetation regrowth rates vary as a function of radiative exposure, burn severity, and precipitation patterns. Hydrologic models used by the Burned Area Emergency Response (BAER) teams use input data and model calibration constraints that are generally either one-dimensional, empirically-based models, or two-dimensional, conceptually-based models with lumped parameter distributions. These models estimate runoff measurements at the watershed outlet; however, do not provide a distributed hydrologic simulation at each point within the watershed. This work uses ParFlow, a three-dimensional, distributed hydrologic model to (1) correlate burn severity with hydrophobicity, (2) evaluate vegetation recovery rate on water components, and (3) improve flood prediction for managers to help with resource allocation and management operations in burned watersheds. ParFlow is applied to Devil Canyon (43 km2) in San Bernardino, California, which was 97% burned in the 2003 Old Fire. The model set-up uses a 30m-cell size resolution over a 6.7 km by 6.4 km lateral extent. The subsurface reaches 30 m and is assigned a variable cell thickness. Variable subsurface thickness allows users to explicitly consider the degree of recovery throughout the stages of regrowth. Burn severity maps from remotely sensed imagery are used to assign initial hydrophobic layer parameters and thickness. Vegetation regrowth is represented with satellite an Enhanced Vegetation Index. Pre and post-fire hydrologic response is evaluated using runoff measurements at the watershed outlet, and using water component (overland flow, lateral flow, baseflow) measurements.

  9. Automated Wildfire Detection Through Artificial Neural Networks

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Miller, Jerry; Borne, Kirk; Thomas, Brian; Huang, Zhenping; Chi, Yuechen

    2005-01-01

    We have tested and deployed Artificial Neural Network (ANN) data mining techniques to analyze remotely sensed multi-channel imaging data from MODIS, GOES, and AVHRR. The goal is to train the ANN to learn the signatures of wildfires in remotely sensed data in order to automate the detection process. We train the ANN using the set of human-detected wildfires in the U.S., which are provided by the Hazard Mapping System (HMS) wildfire detection group at NOAA/NESDIS. The ANN is trained to mimic the behavior of fire detection algorithms and the subjective decision- making by N O M HMS Fire Analysts. We use a local extremum search in order to isolate fire pixels, and then we extract a 7x7 pixel array around that location in 3 spectral channels. The corresponding 147 pixel values are used to populate a 147-dimensional input vector that is fed into the ANN. The ANN accuracy is tested and overfitting is avoided by using a subset of the training data that is set aside as a test data set. We have achieved an automated fire detection accuracy of 80-92%, depending on a variety of ANN parameters and for different instrument channels among the 3 satellites. We believe that this system can be deployed worldwide or for any region to detect wildfires automatically in satellite imagery of those regions. These detections can ultimately be used to provide thermal inputs to climate models.

  10. Wildfire exposure analysis on the national forests in the Pacific Northwest, USA.

    PubMed

    Ager, Alan A; Buonopane, Michelle; Reger, Allison; Finney, Mark A

    2013-06-01

    We analyzed wildfire exposure for key social and ecological features on the national forests in Oregon and Washington. The forests contain numerous urban interfaces, old growth forests, recreational sites, and habitat for rare and endangered species. Many of these resources are threatened by wildfire, especially in the east Cascade Mountains fire-prone forests. The study illustrates the application of wildfire simulation for risk assessment where the major threat is from large and rare naturally ignited fires, versus many previous studies that have focused on risk driven by frequent and small fires from anthropogenic ignitions. Wildfire simulation modeling was used to characterize potential wildfire behavior in terms of annual burn probability and flame length. Spatial data on selected social and ecological features were obtained from Forest Service GIS databases and elsewhere. The potential wildfire behavior was then summarized for each spatial location of each resource. The analysis suggested strong spatial variation in both burn probability and conditional flame length for many of the features examined, including biodiversity, urban interfaces, and infrastructure. We propose that the spatial patterns in modeled wildfire behavior could be used to improve existing prioritization of fuel management and wildfire preparedness activities within the Pacific Northwest region. PMID:23078351

  11. Rill Erosion in Post Wildfire Forests after Salvage Logging

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Robichaud, Peter; Wagenbrenner, Joseph; Brown, Robert

    2016-04-01

    Despite the dominance of concentrated flow or rill erosion in the erosion processes especially in steep forest environments that have been affected by wildfire or management activities few studies have quantified these effects on rill erosion. This study quantified the effects of wildfire and post-fire timber salvage operations on rill runoff quantity, runoff velocity, and rill erosion. Simulated rill experiments were conducted at various sites in the Western US after wildfire and timber salvage operations. The onsite conditions consists of burned only, salvage logged, skid or snig trail, or skid trails with extra logging debris added. For each rill experiment, concentrated flow was applied at the top of the plot through an energy dissipater at five inflow rates for 12 min each. Runoff was sampled every 2 min and runoff volume and sediment concentration were determined for each sample. The runoff velocity was measured using a dyed calcium chloride solution and two conductivity probes placed a known distance apart. Runoff volume, runoff velocities, and sediment concentrations increased with increasing levels of disturbance. The burned only plots had lower runoff rates and sediment concentrations than any of the other disturbances. The salvage logged plots had greater responses than the burn only plots and the mitigation treatment had a marginal effect on runoff ratios, runoff velocities and sediment concentrations. These results suggest that additional disturbance after a wildfire can increase the erosional response and that proper erosion control mitigation may be an important consideration for post fire management to reduce onsite erosion.

  12. Wildfires and Schools

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    National Clearinghouse for Educational Facilities, 2009

    2009-01-01

    This publication discusses conditions that feed wildfires, how a building catches fire, determining the school's risk, creating a survivable space for the school, the importance of maintenance, the fire-resistant school, meeting code requirements, and related flood and mudslide risks. Much of this publication has been adapted for schools from the…

  13. Wildfire Prevention Strategies.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    National Wildlife Coordinating Group, Boise, ID.

    This document provides information and guidance on wildfire prevention strategies. Chapters include: (1) "Introduction"; (2) "How to Use this Guide"; (3) "Fire Cause Classification"; (4) "Relative Effectiveness"; (5) "Degree of Difficulty"; (6) "Intervention Techniques"; (7) "Prevention Activities"; (8) "Sample Prevention Strategies"; and (9)…

  14. Rapid increases and time-lagged declines in amphibian occupancy after wildfire.

    PubMed

    Hossack, Blake R; Lowe, Winsor H; Corn, Paul Stephen

    2013-02-01

    Climate change is expected to increase the frequency and severity of drought and wildfire. Aquatic and moisture-sensitive species, such as amphibians, may be particularly vulnerable to these modified disturbance regimes because large wildfires often occur during extended droughts and thus may compound environmental threats. However, understanding of the effects of wildfires on amphibians in forests with long fire-return intervals is limited. Numerous stand-replacing wildfires have occurred since 1988 in Glacier National Park (Montana, U.S.A.), where we have conducted long-term monitoring of amphibians. We measured responses of 3 amphibian species to fires of different sizes, severity, and age in a small geographic area with uniform management. We used data from wetlands associated with 6 wildfires that burned between 1988 and 2003 to evaluate whether burn extent and severity and interactions between wildfire and wetland isolation affected the distribution of breeding populations. We measured responses with models that accounted for imperfect detection to estimate occupancy during prefire (0-4 years) and different postfire recovery periods. For the long-toed salamander (Ambystoma macrodactylum) and Columbia spotted frog (Rana luteiventris), occupancy was not affected for 6 years after wildfire. But 7-21 years after wildfire, occupancy for both species decreased ≥ 25% in areas where >50% of the forest within 500 m of wetlands burned. In contrast, occupancy of the boreal toad (Anaxyrus boreas) tripled in the 3 years after low-elevation forests burned. This increase in occupancy was followed by a gradual decline. Our results show that accounting for magnitude of change and time lags is critical to understanding population dynamics of amphibians after large disturbances. Our results also inform understanding of the potential threat of increases in wildfire frequency or severity to amphibians in the region. PMID:22978248

  15. Runoff and erosion effects after prescribed fire and wildfire on volcanic ash-cap soils

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    AFTER PRESCRIBED BURNS AT THREE LOCATIONS AND ONE WILDFIRE, RAINFALL SIMULATIONS STUDIES WERE COMPLETED TO COMPARE POSTFIRE RUNOFF RATES AND SEDIMENT YIELDS ON ASH-CAP SOIL IN CONIFER FOREST REGIONS OF NOTHERN IDAHO AND WESTERN MONTANA. THE MEASURED FIRE EFFECTS WERE DIFFERENTIATED BY BURN SEVERITY ...

  16. Infiltration and interrill erosion rates after a wildfire in western Montana, USA

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    The 2000 Valley Complex wildfire burned in steep montane forests with ash cap soils in western Montana, USA. The effects of high burn severity on forest soil hydrologic function was examined using rainfall simulations (100 mm h-1 for 1 h) on 0.5-m2 plots. Infiltration rates and sediment yields and c...

  17. The Cerro Grande Fire - From Wildfire Modeling Through the Fire Aftermath

    SciTech Connect

    Rudell, T. M.; Gille, R. W.

    2001-01-01

    The Cerro Grande Fire developed from a prescribed burn by the National Park Service at Bandelier National Monument near Los Alamos, New Mexico. When the burn went out of control and became a wildfire, it attracted worldwide attention because it threatened the birthplace of the atomic bomb, Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL). Was LANL prepared for a fire? What lessons have been learned?

  18. Stream Water and Soil Water Chemistry Following the Table Mountain Wildfire, Washington

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Roccanova, V. J.; Gazis, C. A.

    2013-12-01

    Severe wildfire occurrence in the Western United States increased throughout the 20th century and has continued to increase into the 21st century. Global climate change resulting from natural and anthropogenic sources is considered a contributor to this increase in wildfire severity. Fire suppression techniques developed in the early 20th century are also a factor in increased severe wildfire occurrence as they augment available fuel loads. Biomass burning releases nutrients that are held within trees and plants. Nitrogen, phosphorous, and calcium levels have been documented as increasing in stream waters as a result of wildfire. As severe wildfire occurrence increases, so does the likelihood that stream, and to a lesser extent groundwater, will be loaded with nutrients and sediments as a result of wildfire activity. Increased nutrient loads can cause algal blooms that deplete streams of oxygen, important to aquatic plants and animals that reside in these streams. These changes in water quality can also affect humans who depend on these streams for irrigation and drinking water purposes. The Table Mountain wildfire in Washington State was started by a lightning strike that occurred at approximately 8:00 PM on Saturday September 8th, 2012. The fire burned for approximately one month and was declared to be 100% contained on Friday October 5th, 2012. Over this period the fire burned a total of 171 square kilometers of forest. In this study multiple stream and soil water samples were collected from three types of area in the winter through summer following the fire: severely burned, moderately burned, and unburned. All areas sampled have similar bedrock and vegetation cover. These samples were analyzed for major ions and trace element concentrations. Select samples will also be analyzed for strontium isotope ratios. The results of these geochemical analyses will be presented. Because calcium and strontium have similar properties, their concentrations can be combined

  19. Asthma and Respiratory Related Emergency Room Visits Associated with a Wildfire in Eastern North Carolina in the Summer of 2008

    EPA Science Inventory

    Rationale: Epidemiological studies have shown associations between the incidence of increased emergency room admissions, hospital and outpatient clinic visits for respiratory causes with the exposures to wood stove, wildfires, and other forms of organic mass burning. In June 2008...

  20. Using WEPP Technology to Assess the Distribution of Erosion Risk, Mitigation Benefit, and Peak Flow Following Wildfire

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Miller, I.; Elliot, W.; Glaza, B.; Robichaud, P.

    2006-12-01

    A number of interfaces have been developed for the Water Erosion Prediction Project (WEPP) model. These include a GIS interface (GeoWEPP), a Windows interface, and an online interface to assist in analyzing erosion risks, variability, and mitigation effectiveness on forest and rangeland hillslopes that have been burned (the Erosion Risk Management Tool ERMiT). This presentation describes how each of these tools was used to assist in analyzing the erosion and peak runoff risk, and mitigation benefits following a large wildfire. In August, 2005, a wildfire burned 20,000 ha of forest south of Pomeroy, WA. Ten watersheds of greatest interest were identified for analysis and were modeled with GeoWEPP. The watersheds covered 7650 ha, or about 38 percent of the total burned area. Hillslopes were specified high, moderate or low burn severity by examining the BAER fire severity map. The results of this analysis highlighted areas of greatest erosion risk. Most of these areas were on steep south or west facing slopes. Following the GeoWEPP analysis identifying hillslopes of greatest erosion risk, the ERMiT interface was run to evaluate potential erosion risks on these hillslopes, and benefits from seeding or mulching during the first two years following the wildfire. An average of about 12 randomly selected hillslopes, or 5 percent of the hillslopes on larger watersheds, were run with ERMiT for each watershed. The results showed that untreated, there was a ten percent chance that erosion would exceed 13 to 29 t/ha, averaging about 25 t/ha in the first year. Seeding had no affect on first year erosion rates, but reduced erosion on the average about 40 percent in the second year. Mulching at 2 t/ha reduced erosion about 86 percent the year following the fire and 60 percent the second year. For the third analysis, the WEPP windows interface was run for each watershed to estimate return periods for peak runoff rates. From the peak runoff estimates for watersheds of varying area

  1. Impact of drought on wildfires in Iberia

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Russo, Ana; Gouveia, Célia M.; DaCamara, Carlos; Sousa, Pedro; Trigo, Ricardo M.

    2015-04-01

    Southern European countries, and the Iberian Peninsula (IP) in particular, have been vastly affected by summer wildfires (Trigo et al., 2013). This condition is hampered by the frequent warm and dry meteorological conditions found in summer which play a significant role in the triggering and spreading of wildfires. These meteorological conditions are also particularly important for the onset and end of drought periods, a phenomenon that has recurrently affected the IP (Gouveia et al., 2012). Moreover, the IP corresponds to one of the most sensitive areas to current and future climate change, and recent and future trends towards a dryer and warmer Mediterranean climate (Sousa et al., 2014) will tend to exacerbate these problems. The main scope of this study was to investigate the impact of drought on wildfires' burned areas in the IP. The objective was to examine the correlation between drought, as expressed by both the Standardized Precipitation Index (SPI) and the Standardized Precipitation Evapotranspiration Index (SPEI) (Vicente-Serrano et al., 2010), and wildfire burned areas. The SPI and SPEI were both calculated for 4 large regions (Northwestern, Northern, Southwestern and Eastern) whose spatial patterns and seasonal fire regimes were shown to be related with constraining factors such as topography, vegetation cover and climate conditions (Trigo et al., 2013). In this study, the drought indices were determined for the time scales of 3 and 6 months for August and for 12 months in September, thus representing the summer and annual drought. The correlation between drought and burned areas during July and August was particularly significant for the 3 months SPEI and SPI relatively to the 6 and 12 time scales, which indicates that drought and fires relation is a small-size scale process. Moreover, the correlation between drought and burned areas during July and August was particularly significant for the Northern and Southwestern regions both for SPEI for 3 and 6

  2. Predicting floodplain boundary changes following the Cerro Grande wildfire

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    McLin, Stephen G.; Springer, Everett P.; Lane, Leonard J.

    2001-10-01

    A combined ArcView GIS-HEC modelling application for floodplain analysis of pre- and post-burned watersheds is described. The burned study area is located on Pajarito Plateau near Los Alamos National Laboratory (the Laboratory), where the Cerro Grande Wildfire burned 42 878 acres (17 352 ha) in May 2000. This area is dominated by rugged mountains that are dissected by numerous steep canyons having both ephemeral and perennial channel reaches. Vegetation consists of pinon-juniper woodlands located between 6000 and 7000 ft (1829-2134 m) above mean sea level (MSL), and Ponderosa pine stands between 7000 and 10000 ft MSL (2134-3048 m). Approximately 17% of the burned area is located within the Laboratory, and the remainder is located in upstream or adjacent watersheds. Pre-burn floodplains were previously mapped in 1990-91 using early HEC models as part of the hazardous waste site permitting process. Precipitation and stream gauge data provide essential information characterizing rainfall-runoff relationships before and after the fire. They also provide a means of monitoring spatial and temporal changes as forest recovery progresses. The 2000 summer monsoon began in late June and provided several significant runoff events for model calibration. HEC-HMS modelled responses were sequentially refined so that observed and predicted hydrograph peaks were matched at numerous channel locations. The 100 year, 6 h design storm was eventually used to predict peak hydrographs at critical sites. These results were compared with pre-fire simulations so that new flood-prone areas could be systematically identified. Stream channel cross-sectional geometries were extracted from a gridded 1 ft (0·3 m) digital elevation model (DEM) using ArcView GIS. Then floodpool topwidths, depths, and flow velocities were remapped using the HEC-RAS model. Finally, numerous surveyed channel sections were selectively made at crucial sites for DEM verification. These evaluations provided timely guidance

  3. Satellite Observation Highlights of the 2010 Russian Wildfires

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Witte, Jacquelyn C.; Douglass, Anne R.; Duncan, Bryan N.; daSilva, Arlindo; Torres, Omar

    2010-01-01

    From late-July through mid-August 2010, wildfires raged in western Russia. The resulting thick smoke and biomass burning products were transported over the highly populated Moscow city and surrounding regions, seriously impairing visibility and affecting human health. We demonstrate the uniqueness of the 2010 Russian wildfires by using satellite observations from NASA's Earth Observing System (EOS) platforms. Over Moscow and the region of major fire activity to the southeast, we calculate unprecedented increases in the MODIS fire count record of 178 %, an order of magnitude increase in the MODIS fire radiative power (308%) and OMI absorbing aerosols (255%), and a 58% increase in AIRS total carbon monoxide (CO). The exceptionally high levels of CO are shown to be of comparable strength to the 2006 El Nino wildfires over Indonesia. Both events record CO values exceeding 30x10(exp 7) molec/ square cm.

  4. Examining Atmospheric and Ecological Drivers of Wildfires, Modeling Wildfire Occurrence in the Southwest United States, and Using Atmospheric Sounding Observations to Verify National Weather Service Spot Forecasts

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nauslar, Nicholas J.

    of wildfires and large wildfires identified days or time periods with increased wildfire activity for each PSA and the SWA. Self-organizing maps utilizing 500 and 700 hPa geopotential heights and precipitable water were implemented to identify atmospheric patterns contributing to the NAM onset and busy days/periods for each PSA and the SWA. Resulting SOM map types also showed the transition to, during, and from the NAM. Northward and eastward displacements of the subtropical ridge (i.e., four-corners high) over the SWA were associated with NAM onset, and a suppressed subtropical ridge and breakdown of the subtropical ridge map types over the SWA were associated with increased wildfire activity. We implemented boosted regression trees (BRT) to model wildfire occurrence for all and large wildfires for different wildfire types (i.e., lightning, human) across the SWA by PSA. BRT models for all wildfires demonstrated relatively small mean and mean absolute errors and showed better predictability on days with wildfires. Cross-validated accuracy assessments for large wildfires demonstrated the ability to discriminate between large wildfire and non-large wildfire days across all wildfire types. Measurements describing fuel conditions (i.e., 100 and 1000-hour dead fuel moisture, energy release component) were the most important predictors when considering all wildfire types and sizes. However, a combination of fuels and atmospheric predictors (i.e., lightning, temperature) proved most predictive for large wildfire occurrence, and the number of relevant predictors increases for large wildfires indicating more conditions need to align to support large wildfires.

  5. High altitude aircraft remote sensing during the 1988 Yellowstone National Park wildfires

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Ambrosia, Vincent G.

    1990-01-01

    An overview is presented of the effects of the wildfires that occurred in the Yellowstone National Park during 1988 and the techniques employed to combat these fires with the use of remote sensing. The fire management team utilized King-Air and Merlin aircraft flying night missions with a thermal IR line-scanning system. NASA-Ames Research Center assisted with an ER-2 high altitude aircraft with the ability to down-link active data from the aircraft via a teledetection system. The ER-2 was equipped with a multispectral Thematic Mapper Simulator scanner and the resultant map data and video imagery was provided to the fire command personnel for field evaluation and fire suppression activities. This type of information proved very valuable to the fire control management personnel and to the continuing ecological research goals of NASA-Ames scientists analyzing the effects of burn type and severity on ecosystem recovery and development.

  6. Effects of flow regime on stream turbidity and suspended solids after wildfire, Colorado Front Range

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Murphy, Sheila F.; McCleskey, R. Blaine; Writer, Jeffrey H.

    2012-01-01

    Wildfires occur frequently in the Colorado Front Range and can alter the hydrological response of watersheds, yet little information exists on the impact of flow regime and storm events on post-wildfire water quality. The flow regime in the region is characterized by base-flow conditions during much of the year and increased runoff during spring snowmelt and summer convective storms. The impact of snowmelt and storm events on stream discharge and water quality was evaluated for about a year after a wildfire near Boulder, Colorado, USA. During spring snowmelt and low-intensity storms, differences in discharge and turbidity at sites upstream and downstream from the burned areas were minimal. However, high-intensity convective storms resulted in dramatic increases in discharge and turbidity at sites downstream from the burned area. This study highlights the importance of using high-frequency sampling to assess accurately wildfire impacts on water quality downstream.

  7. An analysis of wildfire prevention

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Heineke, J. M.; Weissenberger, S.

    1974-01-01

    A model of the production of wildfire ignitions and damages is developed and used to determine wildland activity-regulation decisions, which minimize total expected cost-plus-loss due to wildfires. In this context, the implications of various policy decisions are considered. The resulting decision rules take a form that makes it possible for existing wildfire management agencies to readily adopt them upon collection of the required data.

  8. Can SHEEP prevent wildfires?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    yoder, M. R.; Turcotte, D. L.; Rundle, J. B.

    2011-12-01

    Wildfires have been shown to exhibit power law frequency-magnitude statistics with non-cumulative slope, or scaling exponent, b between approximately 1.3 < b < 2.0. Land management practice appear to have increased the rate of large fires (shallower slopes, smaller b values) in some regions. Ironically, aggressive wildfire suppression may be one of the most pernicious culprits. In order to study this problem, we present an agent based variation to the venerable Drossel-Schwabl forest-fire model. In addition to conventional fires, we introduce a number of simulated herbivorous endemic and environmental process (SHEEP) agents to the lattice. SHEEP fracture and trim large clusters to produce steeper frequency-size distributions of fuel clusters and model fires. We discuss the role of cluster shape, or fractal dimension, in the model, and we propose several interpretations of the SHEEP agent. Of particular interest, we discuss the effects of fire suppression as well as wildlife and livestock populations with respect to wildfire hazard.

  9. Climate, CO2, and demographic impacts on global wildfire emissions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Knorr, W.; Jiang, L.; Arneth, A.

    2015-09-01

    Wildfires are by far the largest contributor to global biomass burning and constitute a large global source of atmospheric traces gases and aerosols. Such emissions have a considerable impact on air quality and constitute a major health hazard. Biomass burning also influences the radiative balance of the atmosphere and is thus not only of societal, but also of significant scientific interest. There is a common perception that climate change will lead to an increase in emissions as hot and dry weather events that promote wildfire will become more common. However, even though a few studies have found that the inclusion of CO2 fertilization of photosynthesis and changes in human population patterns will tend to somewhat lower predictions of future wildfire emissions, no such study has included full ensemble ranges of both climate predictions and population projections, including the effect of different degrees of urbanisation. Here, we present a series of 124 simulations with the LPJ-GUESS-SIMFIRE global dynamic vegetation - wildfire model, including a semi-empirical formulation for the prediction of burned area based on fire weather, fuel continuity and human population density. The simulations comprise Climate Model Intercomparison Project 5 (CMIP5) climate predictions from eight Earth system models using two Representative Concentration Pathways (RCPs) and five scenarios of future human population density based on the series of Shared Socioeconomic Pathways (SSPs), sensitivity tests for the effect of climate and CO2, as well as a sensitivity analysis using two alternative parameterisations of the semi-empirical burned-area model. Contrary to previous work, we find no clear future trend of global wildfire emissions for the moderate emissions and climate change scenario based on the RCP 4.5. Only historical population change introduces a decline by around 15 % since 1900. Future emissions could either increase for low population growth and fast urbanisation, or

  10. An improved algorithm for wildfire detection

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nakau, K.

    2010-12-01

    Satellite information of wild fire location has strong demands from society. Therefore, Understanding such demands is quite important to consider what to improve the wild fire detection algorithm. Interviews and considerations imply that the most important improvements are geographical resolution of the wildfire product and classification of fire; smoldering or flaming. Discussion with fire service agencies are performed with fire service agencies in Alaska and fire service volunteer groups in Indonesia. Alaska Fire Service (AFS) makes 3D-map overlaid by fire location every morning. Then, this 3D-map is examined by leaders of fire service teams to decide their strategy to fighting against wild fire. Especially, firefighters of both agencies seek the best walk path to approach the fire. Because of mountainous landscape, geospatial resolution is quite important for them. For example, walking in bush for 1km, as same as one pixel of fire product, is very tough for firefighters. Also, in case of remote wild fire, fire service agencies utilize satellite information to decide when to have a flight observation to confirm the status; expanding, flaming, smoldering or out. Therefore, it is also quite important to provide the classification of fire; flaming or smoldering. Not only the aspect of disaster management, wildfire emits huge amount of carbon into atmosphere as much as one quarter to one half of CO2 by fuel combustion (IPCC AR4). Reduction of the CO2 emission by human caused wildfire is important. To estimate carbon emission from wildfire, special resolution is quite important. To improve sensitivity of wild fire detection, author adopts radiance based wildfire detection. Different from the existing brightness temperature approach, we can easily consider reflectance of background land coverage. Especially for GCOM-C1/SGLI, band to detect fire with 250m resolution is 1.6μm wavelength. In this band, we have much more sunlight reflection. Therefore, we need to

  11. THE RESPONSE OF THURBER'S NEEDLEGRASS TO FALL PRESCRIBED BURNING

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Thurber’s needlegrass (Achnatherum thurberianum (Piper) Barkworth) is an important component of many sagebrush communities in the Intermountain West. Prescribed fall burning is often implemented in sagebrush plant communities to mimic historic wildfires, improve wildlife habitat, and increase lives...

  12. Comparison of the radiological dose from the Cerro Grande fire to a natural wildfire.

    PubMed

    Volkerding, John M

    2004-01-01

    Since the Cerro Grande fire burned portions of a Department of Energy facility where nuclear weapons research occurs, it is important to determine if the fire posed greater risk to the public than a natural fire. All wildfires release radioactive as well as other toxic pollutants into the atmosphere. Thus, it is important to determine if the radioactive air emissions from the Cerro Grande fire were statistically different than those from a natural wildfire, specifically the Viveash fire. PMID:14592576

  13. Unifying wildfire models from ecology and statistical physics.

    PubMed

    Zinck, Richard D; Grimm, Volker

    2009-11-01

    Understanding the dynamics of wildfire regimes is crucial for both regional forest management and predicting global interactions between fire regimes and climate. Accordingly, spatially explicit modeling of forest fire ecosystems is a very active field of research, including both generic and highly specific models. There is, however, a second field in which wildfire has served as a metaphor for more than 20 years: statistical physics. So far, there has been only limited interaction between these two fields of wildfire modeling. Here we show that two typical generic wildfire models from ecology are structurally equivalent to the most commonly used model from statistical physics. All three models can be unified to a single model in which they appear as special cases of regrowth-dependent flammability. This local "ecological memory" of former fire events is key to self-organization in wildfire ecosystems. The unified model is able to reproduce three different patterns observed in real boreal forests: fire size distributions, fire shapes, and a hump-shaped relationship between disturbance intensity (average annual area burned) and diversity of succession stages. The unification enables us to bring together insights from both disciplines in a novel way and to identify limitations that provide starting points for further research. PMID:19799499

  14. Near-Real-Time Earth Observation Data Supporting Wildfire Management

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ambrosia, V. G.; Zajkowski, T.; Quayle, B.

    2013-12-01

    During disaster events, the most critical element needed by responding personnel and management teams is situational intelligence / awareness. During rapidly-evolving events such as wildfires, the need for timely information is critical to save lives, property and resources. The wildfire management agencies in the US rely heavily on remote sensing information both from airborne platforms as well as from orbital assets. The ability to readily have information from those systems, not just data, is critical to effective control and damage mitigation. NASA has been collaborating with the USFS to mature and operationalize various asset-information capabilities to effect improved knowledge of fire-prone areas, monitor wildfire events in real-time, assess effectiveness of fire management strategies, and provide rapid, post-fire assessment for recovery operations. Specific examples of near-real-time remote sensing asset utility include daily MODIS data employed to assess fire potential / wildfire hazard areas, and national-scale hot-spot detection, airborne thermal sensor collected during wildfire events to effect management strategies, EO-1 ALI 'pointable' satellite sensor data to assess fire-retardant application effectiveness, and Landsat 8 and other sensor data to derive burn severity indices for post-fire remediation work. These cases of where near-real-time data is used operationally during the previous few fire seasons will be presented.

  15. A decision support system for water supply in watersheds with recurrent wildfires

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Santos, Regina; Fernandes, Luís; Pereira, Mário; Cortes, Rui; Pacheco, Fernando

    2015-04-01

    The Beça River basin (North of Portugal) is barely affected by anthropogenic pressures, namely by the harmful effects of industrialization, urbanization or intensive agriculture. However, this basin is subject to recurrent wildfires, which plays a major role on soil erosion and water quality deterioration. Wildfires are responsible for increasing the concentration of soil nitrogen (N) and phosphorous (P) that ultimately arise in the rivers and water reservoirs as a result of transport by rainfall. In this sense, the main aims of this study are threefold: (i) to assess the relationship between fire occurrence and P concentration in river water, (ii) to model the P and N concentrations in stream water at the basin and sub-basin scales, and (iii) to propose management guidelines for the protection of drinking water resources taking into account the local history on forest fires. This study includes morphological, hydrological and climatological characterization of the study area as well as the spatial-temporal distribution of the fire incidence in the basin. The rainfall-runoff and nutrient transport processes were performed respectively with Mike Hydro Basin and the ECO Lab. The data requirements for these analysis/tools includes: a digital elevation model, Corine Land Cover maps (for 1990, 2000 and 2006), cartography of burned areas (covering the period 1990 - 2013) and wildfire risk (assessed in 2011), daily records of temperature, precipitation and stream flow, measured at monitoring stations (during the 1990 - 2006 period). Obtained results reveals a maximum fire recurrence of 5 times during the study period (1990 - 2013) and robust exponential regression observed between burned area and wildfire risk (R2 > 0.9). The biophysical parameters contributes to 86% of the fire risk which suggest that burnt area in the Beça River basin is essentially triggered by natural causes. A total of 16,396 ha was burned between 1990 and 2013, corresponding to 47% of the basin

  16. Analysis of climate and topographic effect on wildfire regime in Liguria, Italy

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fiorucci, Paolo; Biondi, Guido; Campo, Lorenzo; D'Andrea, Mirko; Degli Esposti, Silvia

    2016-04-01

    Wildfire risk is particularly significant in Italy, both in summer and winter season due to the high topographic and vegetation heterogeneity of the territory. Liguria is one of the few regions in Italy affected by wildfires both in summer and winter. Most of the fires in Italy occur in summer season and the burned area is largely greater than in winter season. In Liguria, the number of wildfires and the burned area is higher in winter than in summer. Winter fire regime is mainly due to frequent extremely dry winds from the north in condition of curing for most of the herbaceous species. Southern and central regions and the large islands are characterized by a severe summer fire regime, because of the higher temperatures and prolonged lack of precipitation. The threat of wildfires in Italy is not confined to wooded areas as they extend to agricultural areas and urban-forest interface areas. In view of the limited availability of fire risk management resources, most of which are used in the management of national and regional air services, it is necessary to precisely identify the areas most vulnerable to fire risk. The few resources available can thus be used on a yearly basis to mitigate problems in the areas at highest risk by defining a program of forest management interventions. The availability of a mapping of fire perimeters spans almost 20 years (1996-2013), and this, combined with a detailed knowledge of topography, climate and land cover allowed to understand which are the main features involved in forest fire occurrences and their behavior. The seasonality of the fire regime was also considered, partitioning the analysis in two macro season (November-April and May- October). Total precipitation and average air temperature obtained from the interpolation of 30 years-long time series from 164 raingauges and 127 thermometers series were considered. The analysis was based on a recursive-quantiles subdivision of the territory in classes based on the different

  17. Biophysical Interactions of Channel Incision Following Wildfire: Empirical Evidence and Conceptual Modeling Framework

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hyde, K.; Wilcox, A. C.; Tague, C.; Jencso, K. G.

    2013-12-01

    Where wildfire occurs in mountainous areas, interactions of biomass, landform, and soils control runoff, gully formation, and ultimately landscape evolution. Biomass consumption by wildfire lowers thresholds of channel initiation while vegetation recovery re-stabilizes burned areas and inhibits erosion. The biophysical process mechanisms through which these interactions occur are largely unexplored. We field-mapped and conducted spatial analysis of 99 channel heads formed following fire in the Rocky Mountains of Montana and Idaho. The purpose was to assess the relationship between vegetation disturbance described by remotely-sensed fire severity and the source area, gradient, and curvature conditions required for channel initiation. Increasing fire severity systematically reduced source area steepness and/or curvature required for channel incision. The findings suggest that fire severity influences the onset of channel incision defined by location of channel heads and that the threshold for channel initiation decreases as vegetation disturbance increases. We speculate that biomass consumption increases rainfall delivery rate to the ground surface and reduces surface resistance to overland flow proportional to the degree of fire severity. Further, we expect that these changes interact with landform and soils to alter the generation, accumulation, and convergence of overland flow. We present a conceptual modeling framework of spatially variable hydrogeomorphic interactions between vegetation disturbance and recovery, rainfall, fire severity, and mountain headwater landforms.

  18. Boreal wildfire emissions from Alaska, USA and Zabaikalsky krai, Russia 2002-2012

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Barrett, Kirsten

    2015-04-01

    Boreal forests are the largest terrestrial biome, and account for 27% of global forest cover and a major sink of atmospheric carbon. Increasing wildfire activity in some boreal regions threatens accumulated carbon stocks through combustion, decomposition, and reduced potential for future uptake. There is substantial spatial variability in boreal wildfire characteristics, particularly at the continental scale, which results from differences in climate and vegetation composition between boreal forests in Eurasia and North America. Quantifying boreal wildfire characteristics such as frequency and intensity at a global scale is possible using active fire detection datasets such as those available from AVHRR and MODIS. This study uses the MODIS MCD14ML to compare wildfire emissions (calculated from Fire Radiative Energy) from Interior Alaska, USA and Zabaikalsky krai, Russia between 2002 and 2012. Both regions have experienced increasing fire frequency and severity over the last several decades, likely in response to changing temperature and precipitation regimes. The two regions are similar in size and cumulative emissions, but boreal wildfires in Alaska are generally more intense and produce more emissions per unit area. Wildfire emissions in the Alaskan Interior are also higher due to a longer "residence time" of fires, which may smoulder in the duff layer for several weeks after a front has passed. This "residual burning" accounted for an average of 64% of active fire detections in Interior Alaska, and 47% of those from Zabaikalye, although interannual variability was substantial. The fraction of residual burning was higher in both regions during larger fire years, when presumably more biomass is available to sustain combustion. The relationship between burned area and fraction of residual burning was stronger in Alaska, possibly due to a greater tendency for ground fires to smoulder in thick duff layers found in black spruce-sphagnum dominated areas. Although

  19. Development of On-line Wildfire Emissions for the Operational Canadian Air Quality Forecast System

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pavlovic, R.; Menard, S.; Chen, J.; Anselmo, D.; Paul-Andre, B.; Gravel, S.; Moran, M. D.; Davignon, D.

    2013-12-01

    An emissions processing system has been developed to incorporate near-real-time emissions from wildfires and large prescribed burns into Environment Canada's real-time GEM-MACH air quality (AQ) forecast system. Since the GEM-MACH forecast domain covers Canada and most of the USA, including Alaska, fire location information is needed for both of these large countries. Near-real-time satellite data are obtained and processed separately for the two countries for organizational reasons. Fire location and fuel consumption data for Canada are provided by the Canadian Forest Service's Canadian Wild Fire Information System (CWFIS) while fire location and emissions data for the U.S. are provided by the SMARTFIRE (Satellite Mapping Automated Reanalysis Tool for Fire Incident Reconciliation) system via the on-line BlueSky Gateway. During AQ model runs, emissions from individual fire sources are injected into elevated model layers based on plume-rise calculations and then transport and chemistry calculations are performed. This 'on the fly' approach to the insertion of emissions provides greater flexibility since on-line meteorology is used and reduces computational overhead in emission pre-processing. An experimental wildfire version of GEM-MACH was run in real-time mode for the summers of 2012 and 2013. 48-hour forecasts were generated every 12 hours (at 00 and 12 UTC). Noticeable improvements in the AQ forecasts for PM2.5 were seen in numerous regions where fire activity was high. Case studies evaluating model performance for specific regions, computed objective scores, and subjective evaluations by AQ forecasters will be included in this presentation. Using the lessons learned from the last two summers, Environment Canada will continue to work towards the goal of incorporating near-real-time intermittent wildfire emissions within the operational air quality forecast system.

  20. Comparing the Effects of Fuel Treatments and Wildfire on Small Catchment Runoff and Sediment Yield at Two Spatial Scales

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Robichaud, P. R.; Wagenbrenner, J. W.; Storrar, K. A.; Elliot, W. J.

    2014-12-01

    The role of wildfire in the Rockies continues to be a major concern—especially fire's effect on water quantity and quality, thus protection of water resources is of great management importance as wildfire occurrence and water needs increase. Since high burn severity wildfires often affect soils, vegetation, and hydrologic processes, fuel treatments are often implemented to reduce the risk of high severity fires. The effects of fuel treatments and wildfire on runoff and sediment yields are often examined separately at the hillslope scale but few studies compare the effects of fuel treatments directly to those of wildfire or allow upscaling effects to the small catchment scale. We studied hillslope scale (0.01 ha) sediment yields and catchment scale (2 to 9 ha) runoff and sediment yields at seven fuel treatment sites and one high severity wildfire site in the northern Rockies. The fuel treatments consisted of thinning or timber harvest followed by low to moderate severity prescribed fire. Mean runoff rates from snowmelt and summer rainfall were often similar between the fuel treatments and wildfire catchments, sediment yields were two to three orders of magnitude higher in the wildfire site than in the fuel treatment sites, and much of the sediment was produced during summer rainfall. Comparing results across scales, sediment yields from the fuel treatments and wildfire sites decreased exponentially with increasing area. These results suggest that fuel treatments that reduce the risk of wildfire do not cause significant erosion.

  1. Spatio-temporal clustering of wildfires in Portugal

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Costa, R.; Pereira, M. G.; Caramelo, L.; Vega Orozco, C.; Kanevski, M.

    2012-04-01

    Several studies have shown that wildfires in Portugal presenthigh temporal as well as high spatial variability (Pereira et al., 2005, 2011). The identification and characterization of spatio-temporal clusters contributes to a comprehensivecharacterization of the fire regime and to improve the efficiency of fire prevention and combat activities. The main goalsin this studyare: (i) to detect the spatio-temporal clusters of burned area; and, (ii) to characterize these clusters along with the role of human and environmental factors. The data were supplied by the National Forest Authority(AFN, 2011) and comprises: (a)the Portuguese Rural Fire Database, PRFD, (Pereira et al., 2011) for the 1980-2007period; and, (b) the national mapping burned areas between 1990 and 2009. In this work, in order to complement the more common cluster analysis algorithms, an alternative approach based onscan statistics and on the permutation modelwas used. This statistical methodallows the detection of local excess events and to test if such an excess can reasonably have occurred by chance.Results obtained for different simulations performed for different spatial and temporal windows are presented, compared and interpreted.The influence of several fire factors such as (climate, vegetation type, etc.) is also assessed. Pereira, M.G., Trigo, R.M., DaCamara, C.C., Pereira, J.M.C., Leite, S.M., 2005:"Synoptic patterns associated with large summer forest fires in Portugal".Agricultural and Forest Meteorology. 129, 11-25. Pereira, M. G., Malamud, B. D., Trigo, R. M., and Alves, P. I.: The history and characteristics of the 1980-2005 Portuguese rural fire database, Nat. Hazards Earth Syst. Sci., 11, 3343-3358, doi:10.5194/nhess-11-3343-2011, 2011 AFN, 2011: AutoridadeFlorestalNacional (National Forest Authority). Available at http://www.afn.min-agricultura.pt/portal.

  2. Mitigating wildfire carbon loss in managed northern peatlands through restoration

    PubMed Central

    Granath, Gustaf; Moore, Paul A.; Lukenbach, Maxwell C.; Waddington, James M.

    2016-01-01

    Northern peatlands can emit large amounts of carbon and harmful smoke pollution during a wildfire. Of particular concern are drained and mined peatlands, where management practices destabilize an array of ecohydrological feedbacks, moss traits and peat properties that moderate water and carbon losses in natural peatlands. Our results demonstrate that drained and mined peatlands in Canada and northern Europe can experience catastrophic deep burns (>200 t C ha−1 emitted) under current weather conditions. Furthermore, climate change will cause greater water losses in these peatlands and subject even deeper peat layers to wildfire combustion. However, the rewetting of drained peatlands and the restoration of mined peatlands can effectively lower the risk of these deep burns, especially if a new peat moss layer successfully establishes and raises peat moisture content. We argue that restoration efforts are a necessary measure to mitigate the risk of carbon loss in managed peatlands under climate change. PMID:27346604

  3. Mitigating wildfire carbon loss in managed northern peatlands through restoration

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Granath, Gustaf; Moore, Paul A.; Lukenbach, Maxwell C.; Waddington, James M.

    2016-06-01

    Northern peatlands can emit large amounts of carbon and harmful smoke pollution during a wildfire. Of particular concern are drained and mined peatlands, where management practices destabilize an array of ecohydrological feedbacks, moss traits and peat properties that moderate water and carbon losses in natural peatlands. Our results demonstrate that drained and mined peatlands in Canada and northern Europe can experience catastrophic deep burns (>200 t C ha‑1 emitted) under current weather conditions. Furthermore, climate change will cause greater water losses in these peatlands and subject even deeper peat layers to wildfire combustion. However, the rewetting of drained peatlands and the restoration of mined peatlands can effectively lower the risk of these deep burns, especially if a new peat moss layer successfully establishes and raises peat moisture content. We argue that restoration efforts are a necessary measure to mitigate the risk of carbon loss in managed peatlands under climate change.

  4. Mitigating wildfire carbon loss in managed northern peatlands through restoration.

    PubMed

    Granath, Gustaf; Moore, Paul A; Lukenbach, Maxwell C; Waddington, James M

    2016-01-01

    Northern peatlands can emit large amounts of carbon and harmful smoke pollution during a wildfire. Of particular concern are drained and mined peatlands, where management practices destabilize an array of ecohydrological feedbacks, moss traits and peat properties that moderate water and carbon losses in natural peatlands. Our results demonstrate that drained and mined peatlands in Canada and northern Europe can experience catastrophic deep burns (>200 t C ha(-1) emitted) under current weather conditions. Furthermore, climate change will cause greater water losses in these peatlands and subject even deeper peat layers to wildfire combustion. However, the rewetting of drained peatlands and the restoration of mined peatlands can effectively lower the risk of these deep burns, especially if a new peat moss layer successfully establishes and raises peat moisture content. We argue that restoration efforts are a necessary measure to mitigate the risk of carbon loss in managed peatlands under climate change. PMID:27346604

  5. Wildfire risk for main vegetation units in a biodiversity hotspot: modeling approach in New Caledonia, South Pacific.

    PubMed

    Gomez, Céline; Mangeas, Morgan; Curt, Thomas; Ibanez, Thomas; Munzinger, Jérôme; Dumas, Pascal; Jérémy, André; Despinoy, Marc; Hély, Christelle

    2015-01-01

    Wildfire has been recognized as one of the most ubiquitous disturbance agents to impact on natural environments. In this study, our main objective was to propose a modeling approach to investigate the potential impact of wildfire on biodiversity. The method is illustrated with an application example in New Caledonia where conservation and sustainable biodiversity management represent an important challenge. Firstly, a biodiversity loss index, including the diversity and the vulnerability indexes, was calculated for every vegetation unit in New Caledonia and mapped according to its distribution over the New Caledonian mainland. Then, based on spatially explicit fire behavior simulations (using the FLAMMAP software) and fire ignition probabilities, two original fire risk assessment approaches were proposed: a one-off event model and a multi-event burn probability model. The spatial distribution of fire risk across New Caledonia was similar for both indices with very small localized spots having high risk. The patterns relating to highest risk are all located around the remaining sclerophyll forest fragments and are representing 0.012% of the mainland surface. A small part of maquis and areas adjacent to dense humid forest on ultramafic substrates should also be monitored. Vegetation interfaces between secondary and primary units displayed high risk and should represent priority zones for fire effects mitigation. Low fire ignition probability in anthropogenic-free areas decreases drastically the risk. A one-off event associated risk allowed localizing of the most likely ignition areas with potential for extensive damage. Emergency actions could aim limiting specific fire spread known to have high impact or consist of on targeting high risk areas to limit one-off fire ignitions. Spatially explicit information on burning probability is necessary for setting strategic fire and fuel management planning. Both risk indices provide clues to preserve New Caledonia hot spot of

  6. Wildfire risk for main vegetation units in a biodiversity hotspot: modeling approach in New Caledonia, South Pacific

    PubMed Central

    Gomez, Céline; Mangeas, Morgan; Curt, Thomas; Ibanez, Thomas; Munzinger, Jérôme; Dumas, Pascal; Jérémy, André; Despinoy, Marc; Hély, Christelle

    2015-01-01

    Wildfire has been recognized as one of the most ubiquitous disturbance agents to impact on natural environments. In this study, our main objective was to propose a modeling approach to investigate the potential impact of wildfire on biodiversity. The method is illustrated with an application example in New Caledonia where conservation and sustainable biodiversity management represent an important challenge. Firstly, a biodiversity loss index, including the diversity and the vulnerability indexes, was calculated for every vegetation unit in New Caledonia and mapped according to its distribution over the New Caledonian mainland. Then, based on spatially explicit fire behavior simulations (using the FLAMMAP software) and fire ignition probabilities, two original fire risk assessment approaches were proposed: a one-off event model and a multi-event burn probability model. The spatial distribution of fire risk across New Caledonia was similar for both indices with very small localized spots having high risk. The patterns relating to highest risk are all located around the remaining sclerophyll forest fragments and are representing 0.012% of the mainland surface. A small part of maquis and areas adjacent to dense humid forest on ultramafic substrates should also be monitored. Vegetation interfaces between secondary and primary units displayed high risk and should represent priority zones for fire effects mitigation. Low fire ignition probability in anthropogenic-free areas decreases drastically the risk. A one-off event associated risk allowed localizing of the most likely ignition areas with potential for extensive damage. Emergency actions could aim limiting specific fire spread known to have high impact or consist of on targeting high risk areas to limit one-off fire ignitions. Spatially explicit information on burning probability is necessary for setting strategic fire and fuel management planning. Both risk indices provide clues to preserve New Caledonia hot spot of

  7. Suppressing downy brome following wildfires

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Downy brome (Bromus tectorum), more widely known as cheatgrass, has invaded millions of hectares of rangelands throughout the Intermountain West. Downy brome provides an early maturing, fine-textured fuel that has increased the chance, rate, season and spread of wildfires. In July 2006, a wildfire b...

  8. Protect Your Home from Wildfire!

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    PTA Today, 1994

    1994-01-01

    Homes in wooded areas or in the wildland/urban interface are at special risk for wildfire. The article provides a checklist of what to keep on hand to make homes safer from wildfire, focusing on vegetation around the home and maintenance of the yard and home. (SM)

  9. Assessing burn severity using satellite time series

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Veraverbeke, Sander; Lhermitte, Stefaan; Verstraeten, Willem; Goossens, Rudi

    2010-05-01

    In this study a multi-temporal differenced Normalized Burn Ratio (dNBRMT) is presented to assess burn severity of the 2007 Peloponnese (Greece) wildfires. 8-day composites were created using the daily near infrared (NIR) and mid infrared (MIR) reflectance products of the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS). Prior to the calculation of the dNBRMT a pixel-based control plot selection procedure was initiated for each burned pixel based on time series similarity of the pre-fire year 2006 to estimate the spatio-temporal NBR dynamics in the case that no fire event would have occurred. The dNBRMT is defined as the one-year post-fire integrated difference between the NBR values of the control and focal pixels. Results reveal the temporal dependency of the absolute values of bi-temporal dNBR maps as the mean temporal standard deviation of the one-year post-fire bi-temporal dNBR time series equaled 0.14 (standard deviation of 0.04). The dNBRMT's integration of temporal variability into one value potentially enhances the comparability of fires across space and time. In addition, the dNBRMT is robust to random noise thanks to the averaging effect. The dNBRMT, based on coarse resolution imagery with high temporal frequency, has the potential to become either a valuable complement to fine resolution Landsat dNBR mapping or an imperative option for assessing burn severity at a continental to global scale.

  10. Interactive effects of wildfire, forest management, and isolation on amphibian and parasite abundance.

    PubMed

    Hossack, Blake R; Lowe, Winsor H; Honeycutt, R Ken; Parks, Sean A; Corn, Paul Stephen

    2013-03-01

    Projected increases in wildfire and other climate-driven disturbances will affect populations and communities worldwide, including host-parasite relationships. Research in temperate forests has shown that wildfire can negatively affect amphibians, but this research has occurred primarily outside of managed landscapes where interactions with human disturbances could result in additive or synergistic effects. Furthermore, parasites represent a large component of biodiversity and can affect host fitness and population dynamics, yet they are rarely included in studies of how vertebrate hosts respond to disturbance. To determine how wildfire affects amphibians and their parasites, and whether effects differ between protected and managed landscapes, we compared abundance of two amphibians and two nematodes relative to wildfire extent and severity around wetlands in neighboring protected and managed forests (Montana, USA). Population sizes of adult, male long-toed salamanders (Ambystoma macrodactylum) decreased with increased burn severity, with stronger negative effects on isolated populations and in managed forests. In contrast, breeding population sizes of Columbia spotted frogs (Rana luteiventris) increased with burn extent in both protected and managed protected forests. Path analysis showed that the effects of wildfire on the two species of nematodes were consistent with differences in their life history and transmission strategies and the responses of their hosts. Burn severity indirectly reduced abundance of soil-transmitted Cosmocercoides variabilis through reductions in salamander abundance. Burn severity also directly reduced C. variabilis abundance, possibly though changes in soil conditions. For the aquatically transmitted nematode Gyrinicola batrachiensis, the positive effect of burn extent on density of Columbia spotted frog larvae indirectly increased parasite abundance. Our results show that effects of wildfire on amphibians depend upon burn extent and

  11. Interactive effects of wildfire, forest management, and isolation on amphibian and parasite abundance

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Hossack, Blake R.; Corn, P. Stephen; Winsor H. Lowe; R. Kenneth Honeycutt; Sean A. Parks

    2013-01-01

    Projected increases in wildfire and other climate-driven disturbances will affect populations and communities worldwide, including host–parasite relationships. Research in temperate forests has shown that wildfire can negatively affect amphibians, but this research has occurred primarily outside of managed landscapes where interactions with human disturbances could result in additive or synergistic effects. Furthermore, parasites represent a large component of biodiversity and can affect host fitness and population dynamics, yet they are rarely included in studies of how vertebrate hosts respond to disturbance. To determine how wildfire affects amphibians and their parasites, and whether effects differ between protected and managed landscapes, we compared abundance of two amphibians and two nematodes relative to wildfire extent and severity around wetlands in neighboring protected and managed forests (Montana, USA). Population sizes of adult, male long-toed salamanders (Ambystoma macrodactylum) decreased with increased burn severity, with stronger negative effects on isolated populations and in managed forests. In contrast, breeding population sizes of Columbia spotted frogs (Rana luteiventris) increased with burn extent in both protected and managed protected forests. Path analysis showed that the effects of wildfire on the two species of nematodes were consistent with differences in their life history and transmission strategies and the responses of their hosts. Burn severity indirectly reduced abundance of soil-transmitted Cosmocercoides variabilis through reductions in salamander abundance. Burn severity also directly reduced C. variabilis abundance, possibly though changes in soil conditions. For the aquatically transmitted nematode Gyrinicola batrachiensis, the positive effect of burn extent on density of Columbia spotted frog larvae indirectly increased parasite abundance. Our results show that effects of wildfire on amphibians depend upon burn extent

  12. Regional modeling of large wildfires under current and potential future climates in Colorado and Wyoming, USA

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    West, Amanda; Kumar, Sunil; Jarnevich, Catherine S.

    2016-01-01

    Regional analysis of large wildfire potential given climate change scenarios is crucial to understanding areas most at risk in the future, yet wildfire models are not often developed and tested at this spatial scale. We fit three historical climate suitability models for large wildfires (i.e. ≥ 400 ha) in Colorado andWyoming using topography and decadal climate averages corresponding to wildfire occurrence at the same temporal scale. The historical models classified points of known large wildfire occurrence with high accuracies. Using a novel approach in wildfire modeling, we applied the historical models to independent climate and wildfire datasets, and the resulting sensitivities were 0.75, 0.81, and 0.83 for Maxent, Generalized Linear, and Multivariate Adaptive Regression Splines, respectively. We projected the historic models into future climate space using data from 15 global circulation models and two representative concentration pathway scenarios. Maps from these geospatial analyses can be used to evaluate the changing spatial distribution of climate suitability of large wildfires in these states. April relative humidity was the most important covariate in all models, providing insight to the climate space of large wildfires in this region. These methods incorporate monthly and seasonal climate averages at a spatial resolution relevant to land management (i.e. 1 km2) and provide a tool that can be modified for other regions of North America, or adapted for other parts of the world.

  13. Hydrological and sediment connectivity in areas affected by wildfires.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Martinez-Murillo, Juan F.; Ruiz-Sinoga, José D.

    2016-04-01

    This study deals with the hydrological and sediment connectivity (HSC) process in burned areas, from detailed to wider spatial scales: -First of all, it is presented a brief review and analysis of meta-data, already published. -Secondly, some examples of HSC are shown from areas affected by wildfires in South of Spain. -Finally, it is an attempt of applying some indexes of hydrological connectivity to those areas. The study try to shed light on this complex process of connectivity from the hydrological and sedimentary point of view, a kew issue to improve the management of burned areas.

  14. Amphibian responses to wildfire in the western united states: Emerging patterns from short-term studies

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Hossack, B.R.; Pilliod, D.S.

    2011-01-01

    The increased frequency and severity of large wildfires in the western United States is an important ecological and management issue with direct relevance to amphibian conservation. Although the knowledge of fire effects on amphibians in the region is still limited relative to most other vertebrate species, we reviewed the current literature to determine if there are evident patterns that might be informative for conservation or management strategies. Of the seven studies that compared pre- and post-wildfire data on a variety of metrics, ranging from amphibian occupancy to body condition, two reported positive responses and five detected negative responses by at least one species. Another seven studies used a retrospective approach to compare effects of wildfire on populations: two studies reported positive effects, three reported negative effects from wildfire, and two reported no effects. All four studies that included plethodontid salamanders reported negative effects on populations or individuals; these effects were greater in forests where fire had been suppressed and in areas that burned with high severity. Species that breed in streams are also vulnerable to post-wildfire changes in habitat, especially in the Southwest. Wildfire is also important for maintaining suitable habitat for diverse amphibian communities, although those results may not be evident immediately after an area burns. We expect that wildfire will extirpate few healthy amphibian populations, but it is still unclear how populations will respond to wildfire in the context of land management (including pre- and post-fire timber harvest) and fragmentation. Wildfire may also increase the risk of decline or extirpation for small, isolated, or stressed (e.g., from drought or disease) populations. Improved understanding of how these effects vary according to changes in fire frequency and severity are critical to form more effective conservation strategies for amphibians in the western United States.

  15. Burnt area detection and hotspot analysis of wildfires in Margalla Hills National Park

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Khalid, Noora; Ullah, Saleem

    2016-07-01

    Wildfires have been a growing source for the forest degradation and reduction in carbon sequestration which cause climate change and global warming. Thus, severely affect the ecosystem when not checked. Studies have revealed that land managements that do not use fire reduce the fire incidents by as much as 69 percent. This study focuses on mapping the areas burnt by forest fires owing to both natural and anthropogenic causes and identifying the fire prone areas in biodiversity spot of Islamabad, Margalla Hills National Park. The methodology employed based on using remotely sensed data with the integration of GIS techniques to estimate the area in hectares turned to ashes which ensued from forest fires during summers of 2008, 2010 and 2011 by applying Normalized Burn Ratio. Moreover hotspot analysis has also been used to pin point the locations with frequent fire incidents in the past using Global Positioning System (GPS) acquired coordinates from the fire surveys and official burned area statistics. The results revealed that wildfires destroyed some common regions in three years towards west which comprise of dense woodland comprising mainly Acacia Modesta, Dalbergia sissoo and Pinus longifolia. The calculated burnt area was 516 hectares, 122 hectares and 45 hectares for 2008, 2010 and 2011 respectively. Although a decline in burnt area has been observed owing to responsible management of authorities and development of fire pickets, still measures need to be taken to eradicate the core causes in charge of these fires and to promote reforestation. This study will allow policy makers and regulatory authorities to identify risk prone areas which will assist them in formulating a strategy to suppress fire incidents.

  16. Wildfires increasing in size and frequency across the U.S. West

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wendel, JoAnna

    2014-08-01

    Since 1984, wildfires have increased in size and frequency, correlating with higher drought severity across the western United States. Dennison et al. looked at remotely sensed data from the U.S. government's Monitoring Trends in Burn Severity project from the years 1984-2011, focusing on fires larger than 400 hectares in nine ecoregions that included mountains, plains, and deserts. The authors found that not only are wildfires becoming more frequent—by an estimated seven large fires per year—but they are also burning more total area, increasing by about 355 square kilometers per year.

  17. The role of precipitation type, intensity, and spatial distribution in source water quality after wildfire

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Murphy, Sheila F.; Writer, Jeffrey H.; McCleskey, R. Blaine; Martin, Deborah A.

    2015-01-01

    Storms following wildfires are known to impair drinking water supplies in the southwestern United States, yet our understanding of the role of precipitation in post-wildfire water quality is far from complete. We quantitatively assessed water-quality impacts of different hydrologic events in the Colorado Front Range and found that for a three-year period, substantial hydrologic and geochemical responses downstream of a burned area were primarily driven by convective storms with a 30 min rainfall intensity >10 mm h−1. These storms, which typically occur several times each year in July–September, are often small in area, short-lived, and highly variable in intensity and geographic distribution. Thus, a rain gage network with high temporal resolution and spatial density, together with high-resolution stream sampling, are required to adequately characterize post-wildfire responses. We measured total suspended sediment, dissolved organic carbon (DOC), nitrate, and manganese concentrations that were 10–156 times higher downstream of a burned area compared to upstream during relatively common (50% annual exceedance probability) rainstorms, and water quality was sufficiently impaired to pose water-treatment concerns. Short-term water-quality impairment was driven primarily by increased surface runoff during higher intensity convective storms that caused erosion in the burned area and transport of sediment and chemical constituents to streams. Annual sediment yields downstream of the burned area were controlled by storm events and subsequent remobilization, whereas DOC yields were closely linked to annual runoff and thus were more dependent on interannual variation in spring runoff. Nitrate yields were highest in the third year post-wildfire. Results from this study quantitatively demonstrate that water quality can be altered for several years after wildfire. Because the southwestern US is prone to wildfires and high-intensity rain storms, the role of storms in post-wildfire

  18. The role of precipitation type, intensity, and spatial distribution in source water quality after wildfire

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Murphy, Sheila F.; Writer, Jeffrey H.; Blaine McCleskey, R.; Martin, Deborah A.

    2015-08-01

    Storms following wildfires are known to impair drinking water supplies in the southwestern United States, yet our understanding of the role of precipitation in post-wildfire water quality is far from complete. We quantitatively assessed water-quality impacts of different hydrologic events in the Colorado Front Range and found that for a three-year period, substantial hydrologic and geochemical responses downstream of a burned area were primarily driven by convective storms with a 30 min rainfall intensity >10 mm h-1. These storms, which typically occur several times each year in July-September, are often small in area, short-lived, and highly variable in intensity and geographic distribution. Thus, a rain gage network with high temporal resolution and spatial density, together with high-resolution stream sampling, are required to adequately characterize post-wildfire responses. We measured total suspended sediment, dissolved organic carbon (DOC), nitrate, and manganese concentrations that were 10-156 times higher downstream of a burned area compared to upstream during relatively common (50% annual exceedance probability) rainstorms, and water quality was sufficiently impaired to pose water-treatment concerns. Short-term water-quality impairment was driven primarily by increased surface runoff during higher intensity convective storms that caused erosion in the burned area and transport of sediment and chemical constituents to streams. Annual sediment yields downstream of the burned area were controlled by storm events and subsequent remobilization, whereas DOC yields were closely linked to annual runoff and thus were more dependent on interannual variation in spring runoff. Nitrate yields were highest in the third year post-wildfire. Results from this study quantitatively demonstrate that water quality can be altered for several years after wildfire. Because the southwestern US is prone to wildfires and high-intensity rain storms, the role of storms in post-wildfire

  19. A comparison of effects from prescribed fires and wildfires managed for resource objectives in Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Nesmith, C.B.; Caprio, Anthony C.; Pfaff, Anne H.; McGinnis, Thomas W.; Keeley, Jon E.

    2011-01-01

    Current goals for prescription burning are focused on measures of fuel consumption and changes in forest density. These benchmarks, however, do not address the extent to which prescription burning meets perceived ecosystem needs of heterogeneity in burning, both for overstory trees and understory herbs and shrubs. There are still questions about how closely prescribed fires mimic these patterns compared to natural wildfires. This study compared burn patterns of prescribed fires and managed unplanned wildfires to understand how the differing burning regimes affect ecosystem properties. Measures of forest structure and fire severity were sampled in three recent prescribed fires and three wildfires managed for resource objectives in Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks. Fine scale patterns of fire severity and heterogeneity were compared between fire types using ground-based measures of fire effects on fuels and overstory and understory vegetation. Prescribed fires and wildfires managed for resource objectives displayed similar patterns of overstory and understory fire severity, heterogeneity, and seedling and sapling survival. Variation among plots within the same fire was always greater than between fire types. Prescribed fires can provide burned landscapes that approximate natural fires in many ways. It is recognized that constraints placed on when wildfires managed for resource objectives are allowed to burn freely may bias the range of conditions that might have been experienced under more natural conditions. Therefore they may not exactly mimic natural wildfires. Overall, the similarity in fire effects that we observed between prescribed fires and managed wildfires indicate that despite the restrictions that are often placed on prescribed fires, they appear to be creating post-fire conditions that approximate natural fires when assessed on a fine spatial scale.

  20. Using satellite image-based maps to improve sugarcane straw burning emission estimates in the state of São Paulo, Brazil

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    França, D.; Longo, K.; Rudorff, B.; Aguiar, D.; Freitas, S. R.; Stockler, R.; Pereira, G.

    2014-12-01

    Since the last decade, the global demand for biofuel production has been increasing every year due to the growing need for energy supply security and mitigation of greenhouse gases (GHG). Currently, sugarcane ethanol is one of the most widely used biofuels and Brazil is already the world's largest sugarcane producer, devoting almost 50% of it to ethanol production. The state of São Paulo is the major sugarcane producer in this country, with a cultivated area of about 5.4 Mha in 2011. Approximately 2 million hectares were harvested annually from 2006 to 2011 with the pre-harvest straw burning practice, which emits trace gases and particulate material to the atmosphere. The assessment and monitoring of sugarcane burning impacts are fundamental in order to mitigate the negative impacts of pre-harvest burning and consolidate the environmental benefits of sugarcane ethanol. Although some official inventories created by the Brazilian government have indicated the prevalence of emissions from sugarcane straw burning in total agricultural residue emissions, specific information about emissions of gases and aerosols during pre-harvest burning of sugarcane is still scarce in Brazil. This study aimed to contribute to the improvement of estimates of emissions from sugarcane burning through the use of specific parameters for sugarcane straw burning and a method which has avoided underestimations resulting from the unique characteristics of this type of biomass fire. In this investigation, emissions of several air pollutants released by sugarcane burning during the harvest season were estimated through the integrated use of remote sensing based maps of sugarcane burned area and a numerical tool for the state of São Paulo from 2006 to 2011. Average estimated emissions (Gg/year) were 1,130 ± 152 for CO, 26 ± 4 for NOX, 16 ± 2 for CH4, 45 ± 6 for PM2.5, 120 ± 16 for PM10 and 154 ± 21 for NMHC (non-methane hydrocarbons). An intercomparison among annual emissions from this

  1. Immediate health effects of an urban wildfire.

    PubMed Central

    Shusterman, D; Kaplan, J Z; Canabarro, C

    1993-01-01

    To document the immediate health effects of the urban wildfire that swept through parts of Alameda County, California, on October 20 and 21, 1991, we conducted a retrospective review of emergency department and coroner's records. Nine hospitals (6 local and 3 outlying) were surveyed for the week beginning October 20, 1991. Coroner's reports were reviewed for 25 identified fire-related deaths. A total of 241 fire-related emergency encounters, including 44 inpatient admissions, were recorded for 227 persons. Nearly a fourth of emergency department patients were seen for work-related injuries, more than half of which occurred among professional firefighters. Smoke-related disorders constituted more than half of all emergency department cases; of these, 61% had documented bronchospasm. Major trauma and burns contributed 1% and 4% of principal diagnoses, respectively; these were exceeded in number by corneal abrasions (13%), other medical problems (8%), and minor trauma (7%), among other diagnoses. All coroner's cases involved extensive burns, many with documented smoke inhalation injury. While the Oakland-Berkeley fire storm resulted in a high case-fatality ratio among major burn cases (25/31), those who survived the initial fire storm did well clinically. Among emergency department patients, medical (particularly smoke-related) disorders outnumbered traumatic presentations by a ratio of more than 2 to 1. Images PMID:8434462

  2. Assessing increasing susceptibility to wildfire at the wildland-urban fringe in the western United States

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kinoshita, A. M.; Hogue, T. S.

    2013-05-01

    Much of the western U.S. is increasingly susceptible to wildfire activity due to drier conditions, elevated fuel loads, and expanding urbanization. As population increases, development pushes the urban boundary further into wildlands, creating more potential for human interaction at the wildland-urban interface (WUI), primarily from human ignitions and fire suppression policies. The immediate impacts of wildfires include vulnerability to debris flows, flooding, and impaired water quality. Fires also alter longer-term hydrological and ecosystem behavior. The current study utilizes geospatial datasets to investigate historical wildfire size and frequency relative to the WUI for a range of cities across western North America. California, the most populous state in the U.S., has an extensive fire history. The decennial population and acres burned for four major counties (Los Angeles, San Bernardino, San Diego, and Shasta) in California show that increasing wildfire size and frequency follow urbanization trends, with high correlation between the last decade of burned area, urban-fringe proximity, and increasing population. Ultimately, results will provide information on urban fringe communities that are most vulnerable to the risks associated with wildfire and post-fire impacts. In light of evolving land use policies (i.e. forest management and treatment, development at the urban-fringe) and climate change, it is critical to advance our knowledge of the implications that these conditions pose to urban centers, communicate risks to the public, and ultimately provide guidance for wildfire management.

  3. Power law distributions of wildfires across Europe: benchmarking a land surface model with observed data

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Di Mauro, B.; Fava, F.; Frattini, P.; Camia, A.; Colombo, R.; Migliavacca, M.

    2015-11-01

    Monthly wildfire burned area frequency is here modeled with a power law distribution and scaling exponent across different European biomes are estimated. Data sets, spanning from 2000 to 2009, comprehend the inventory of monthly burned areas from the European Forest Fire Information System (EFFIS) and simulated monthly burned areas from a recent parameterization of a Land Surface Model (LSM), that is the Community Land Model (CLM). Power law exponents are estimated with a Maximum Likelihood Estimation (MLE) for different European biomes. The characteristic fire size (CFS), i.e. the area that most contributes to the total burned area, was also calculated both from EFFIS and CLM data set. We used the power law fitting and the CFS analysis to benchmark CLM model against the EFFIS observational wildfires data set available for Europe. Results for the EFFIS data showed that power law fittings holds for 2-3 orders of magnitude in the Boreal and Continental ecoregions, whereas the distribution of the Alpine, Atlantic are fitted only in the upper tail. Power law instead is not a suitable model for fitting CLM simulations. CLM benchmarking analysis showed that the model strongly overestimates burned areas and fails in reproducing size-frequency distribution of observed EFFIS wildfires. This benchmarking analysis showed that some refinements in CLM structure (in particular regarding the anthropogenic influence) are needed for predicting future wildfires scenarios, since the low spatial resolution of the model and differences in relative frequency of small and large fires can affect the reliability of the predictions.

  4. Evidence, exaggeration, and error in historical accounts of chaparral wildfires in California.

    PubMed

    Goforth, Brett R; Minnich, Richard A

    2007-04-01

    For more than half a century, ecologists and historians have been integrating the contemporary study of ecosystems with data gathered from historical sources to evaluate change over broad temporal and spatial scales. This approach is especially useful where ecosystems were altered before formal study as a result of natural resources management, land development, environmental pollution, and climate change. Yet, in many places, historical documents do not provide precise information, and pre-historical evidence is unavailable or has ambiguous interpretation. There are similar challenges in evaluating how the fire regime of chaparral in California has changed as a result of fire suppression management initiated at the beginning of the 20th century. Although the firestorm of October 2003 was the largest officially recorded in California (approximately 300,000 ha), historical accounts of pre-suppression wildfires have been cited as evidence that such a scale of burning was not unprecedented, suggesting the fire regime and patch mosaic in chaparral have not substantially changed. We find that the data do not support pre-suppression megafires, and that the impression of large historical wildfires is a result of imprecision and inaccuracy in the original reports, as well as a parlance that is beset with hyperbole. We underscore themes of importance for critically analyzing historical documents to evaluate ecological change. A putative 100 mile long by 10 mile wide (160 x 16 km) wildfire reported in 1889 was reconstructed to an area of chaparral approximately 40 times smaller by linking local accounts to property tax records, voter registration rolls, claimed insurance, and place names mapped with a geographical information system (GIS) which includes data from historical vegetation surveys. We also show that historical sources cited as evidence of other large chaparral wildfires are either demonstrably inaccurate or provide anecdotal information that is immaterial in the

  5. Sources and Implications of Bias and Uncertainty in a Century of US Wildfire Activity Data

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Short, K.

    2013-12-01

    -2013-0009). While necessarily incomplete in some aspects, the database is intended to facilitate fairly high-resolution geospatial analysis of wildfire activity over the past two decades, based on available information from the authoritative systems of record. Formal non-federal wildfire reporting has been on the rise over the past several decades, and users of national datasets like the FPA FOD must beware of state and local reporting biases to avoid drawing spurious conclusions when analysing the data. Apparent trends in the numbers and area burned by wildfires, for example, may be the result of multiple factors, including changes in climate, fuels, demographics (e.g. population density), fire-management policies, and - as we underscore here - levels of reporting.

  6. Combustion efficiency and emission factors for US wildfires

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Urbanski, S. P.

    2013-01-01

    In the US wildfires and prescribed burning present significant challenges to air regulatory agencies attempting to achieve and maintain compliance with National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS) and Regional Haze Regulations. Wildland fire emission inventories (EI) provide critical inputs for atmospheric chemical transport models used by air regulatory agencies to understand and to predict the impact of fires on air quality. Fire emission factors (EF), which quantify the amount of pollutants released per mass of biomass burned, are essential input for the emission models used to develop EI. Over the past decade substantial progress has been realized in characterizing the composition of fresh biomass burning (BB) smoke and in quantifying BB EF. However, most BB studies of temperate ecosystems have focused on emissions from prescribed burning. Little information is available on EF for wildfires in the temperate forests of the conterminous US. Current emission estimates for US wildfires rely largely on EF measurements from prescribed burns and it is unknown if these fires are a reasonable proxy for wildfires. Over 8 days in August of 2011 we deployed airborne chemistry instruments and sampled emissions from 3 wildfires and a prescribed fire that occurred in mixed conifer forests of the northern Rocky Mountains. We measured the combustion efficiency, quantified as the modified combustion efficiency (MCE), and EF for CO2, CO, and CH4. Our study average values for MCE, EFCO2, EFCO, and EFCH4 were 0.883, 1596 g kg-1, 135 g kg-1, 7.30 g kg-1, respectively. Compared with previous field studies of prescribed fires in similar forest types, the fires sampled in our study had significantly lower MCE and EFCO2 and significantly higher EFCO and EFCH4. An examination of our study and 47 temperate forest prescribed fires from previously published studies shows a clear trend in MCE across US region/fire type: southeast (MCE = 0.933) > southwest (MCE = 0.922) > northwest (MCE = 0

  7. Evolving forest fire burn severity classification algorithms for multispectral imagery

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Brumby, Steven P.; Harvey, Neal R.; Bloch, Jeffrey J.; Theiler, James P.; Perkins, Simon J.; Young, Aaron C.; Szymanski, John J.

    2001-08-01

    Between May 6 and May 18, 2000, the Cerro Grande/Los Alamos wildfire burned approximately 43,000 acres (17,500 ha) and 235 residences in the town of Los Alamos, NM. Initial estimates of forest damage included 17,000 acres (6,900 ha) of 70-100% tree mortality. Restoration efforts following the fire were complicated by the large scale of the fire, and by the presence of extensive natural and man-made hazards. These conditions forced a reliance on remote sensing techniques for mapping and classifying the burn region. During and after the fire, remote-sensing data was acquired from a variety of aircraft-based and satellite-based sensors, including Landsat 7. We now report on the application of a machine learning technique, implemented in a software package called GENIE, to the classification of forest fire burn severity using Landsat 7 ETM+ multispectral imagery. The details of this automatic classification are compared to the manually produced burn classification, which was derived from field observations and manual interpretation of high-resolution aerial color/infrared photography.

  8. How risk management can prevent future wildfire disasters in the wildland-urban interface

    PubMed Central

    Calkin, David E.; Cohen, Jack D.; Finney, Mark A.; Thompson, Matthew P.

    2014-01-01

    Recent fire seasons in the western United States are some of the most damaging and costly on record. Wildfires in the wildland-urban interface on the Colorado Front Range, resulting in thousands of homes burned and civilian fatalities, although devastating, are not without historical reference. These fires are consistent with the characteristics of large, damaging, interface fires that threaten communities across much of the western United States. Wildfires are inevitable, but the destruction of homes, ecosystems, and lives is not. We propose the principles of risk analysis to provide land management agencies, first responders, and affected communities who face the inevitability of wildfires the ability to reduce the potential for loss. Overcoming perceptions of wildland-urban interface fire disasters as a wildfire control problem rather than a home ignition problem, determined by home ignition conditions, will reduce home loss. PMID:24344292

  9. How risk management can prevent future wildfire disasters in the wildland-urban interface.

    PubMed

    Calkin, David E; Cohen, Jack D; Finney, Mark A; Thompson, Matthew P

    2014-01-14

    Recent fire seasons in the western United States are some of the most damaging and costly on record. Wildfires in the wildland-urban interface on the Colorado Front Range, resulting in thousands of homes burned and civilian fatalities, although devastating, are not without historical reference. These fires are consistent with the characteristics of large, damaging, interface fires that threaten communities across much of the western United States. Wildfires are inevitable, but the destruction of homes, ecosystems, and lives is not. We propose the principles of risk analysis to provide land management agencies, first responders, and affected communities who face the inevitability of wildfires the ability to reduce the potential for loss. Overcoming perceptions of wildland-urban interface fire disasters as a wildfire control problem rather than a home ignition problem, determined by home ignition conditions, will reduce home loss. PMID:24344292

  10. Wildfire-Migration Dynamics: Lessons from Colorado’s Fourmile Canyon Fire

    PubMed Central

    Nawrotzki, Raphael J.; Brenkert-Smith, Hannah; Hunter, Lori M.; Champ, Patricia A.

    2014-01-01

    The number of people living in wildfire prone wildland-urban interface (WUI) communities is on the rise. Yet, no prior study has investigated wildfire-induced residential relocation from WUI areas after a major fire event. To provide insight into the association between socio-demographic and socio-psychological characteristics and wildfire related intention to move, we use data from a survey of WUI residents in Boulder and Larimer Counties, Colorado. The data were collected two months after the devastating Fourmile Canyon fire destroyed 169 homes and burned over 6,000 acres of public and private land. Although working with a small migrant sample, logistic regression models demonstrate that survey respondents intending to move in relation to wildfire incidence do not differ socio-demographically from their non-migrant counterparts. They do, however, show significantly higher levels of risk perception. Investigating destination choices shows a preference for short distance moves. PMID:24882943

  11. Prescribed fires as ecological surrogates for wildfires: A stream and riparian perspective

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Arkle, R.S.; Pilliod, D.S.

    2010-01-01

    Forest managers use prescribed fire to reduce wildfire risk and to provide resource benefits, yet little information is available on whether prescribed fires can function as ecological surrogates for wildfire in fire-prone landscapes. Information on impacts and benefits of this management tool on stream and riparian ecosystems is particularly lacking. We used a beyond-BACI (Before, After, Control, Impact) design to investigate the effects of a prescribed fire on a stream ecosystem and compared these findings to similar data collected after wildfire. For 3 years after prescribed fire treatment, we found no detectable changes in periphyton, macroinvertebrates, amphibians, fish, and riparian and stream habitats compared to data collected over the same time period in four unburned reference streams. Based on changes in fuels, plant and litter cover, and tree scorching, this prescribed fire was typical of those being implemented in ponderosa pine forests throughout the western U.S. However, we found that the extent and severity of riparian vegetation burned was substantially lower after prescribed fire compared to nearby wildfires. The early-season prescribed fire did not mimic the riparian or in-stream ecological effects observed following a nearby wildfire, even in catchments with burn extents similar to the prescribed fire. Little information exists on the effects of long-term fire exclusion from riparian forests, but a "prescribed fire regime" of repeatedly burning upland forests while excluding fire in adjacent riparian forests may eliminate an important natural disturbance from riparian and stream habitats.

  12. Global and regional analysis of climate and human drivers of wildfire.

    PubMed

    Aldersley, Andrew; Murray, Steven J; Cornell, Sarah E

    2011-08-15

    Identifying and quantifying the statistical relationships between climate and anthropogenic drivers of fire is important for global biophysical modelling of wildfire and other Earth system processes. This study used regression tree and random forest analysis on global data for various climatic and human variables to establish their relative importance. The main interactions found at the global scale also apply regionally: greatest wildfire burned area is associated with high temperature (> 28 °C), intermediate annual rainfall (350-1100 mm), and prolonged dry periods (which varies by region). However, the regions of highest fire incidence do not show clear and systematic behaviour. Thresholds seen in the regression tree split conditions vary, as do the interplay between climatic and anthropogenic variables, so challenges remain in developing robust predictive insight for the most wildfire-threatened regions. Anthropogenic activities alter the spatial extent of wildfires. Gross domestic product (GDP) density is the most important human predictor variable at the regional scale, and burned area is always greater when GDP density is minimised. South America is identified as a region of concern, as anthropogenic factors (notably land conversions) outweigh climatic drivers of wildfire burned area. PMID:21689843

  13. Influences of prior wildfires on vegetation response to subsequent fire in a reburned Southwestern landscape.

    PubMed

    Coop, Jonathan D; Parks, Sean A; McClernan, Sarah R; Holsinger, Lisa M

    2016-03-01

    Large and severe wildfires have raised concerns about the future of forested landscapes in the southwestern United States, especially under repeated burning. In 2011, under extreme weather and drought conditions, the Las Conchas fire burned over several previous burns as well as forests not recently exposed to fire. Our purpose was to examine the influences of prior wildfires on plant community composition and structure, subsequent burn severity, and vegetation response. To assess these relationships, we used satellite-derived measures of burn severity and a nonmetric multidimensional scaling of pre- and post- Las Conchas field samples. Earlier burns were associated with shifts from forested sites to open savannas and meadows, oak scrub, and ruderal communities. These non-forested vegetation types exhibited both resistance to subsequent fire, measured by reduced burn severity, and resilience to reburning, measured by vegetation recovery relative to forests not exposed to recent prior fire. Previous shifts toward non-forested states were strongly reinforced by reburning. Ongoing losses of forests and their ecological values confirm the need for restoration interventions. However, given future wildfire and climate projections, there may also be opportunities presented by transformations toward fire-resistant and resilient vegetation types within portions of the landscape. PMID:27209778

  14. UAS Developments Supporting Wildfire Observations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ambrosia, V. G.; Dahlgren, R. P.; Watts, A.; Reynolds, K. W.; Ball, T.

    2014-12-01

    Wildfires are regularly occurring emergency events that threaten life, property, and natural resources in every U.S. State and many countries around the world. Despite projections that $1.8 billion will be spent by U.S. Federal agencies alone on wildfires in 2014, the decades-long trend of increasing fire size, severity, and cost is expected to continue. Furthermore, the enormous potential for UAS (and concomitant sensor systems) to serve as geospatial intelligence tools to improve the safety and effectiveness of fire management, and our ability to forecast fire and smoke movements, remains barely tapped. Although orbital sensor assets are can provide the geospatial extent of wildfires, generally those resources are limited in use due to their spatial and temporal resolution limitations. These two critical elements make orbital assets of limited utility for tactical, real-time wildfire management, or for continuous scientific analysis of the temporal dynamics related to fire energy release rates and plume concentrations that vary significantly thru a fire's progression. Large UAS platforms and sensors can and have been used to monitor wildfire events at improved temporal, spatial and radiometric scales, but more focus is being placed on the use of small UAS (sUAS) and sensors to support wildfire observation strategies. The use of sUAS is therefore more critical for TACTICAL management purposes, rather than strategic observations, where small-scale fire developments are critical to understand. This paper will highlight the historical development and use of UAS for fire observations, as well as the current shift in focus to smaller, more affordable UAS for more rapid integration into operational use on wildfire events to support tactical observation strategies, and support wildfire science measurement inprovements.

  15. Factor Analysis of Wildfire and Risk Area Estimation in Korean Peninsula Using Maximum Entropy

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kim, Teayeon; Lim, Chul-Hee; Lee, Woo-Kyun; Kim, YouSeung; Heo, Seongbong; Cha, Sung Eun; Kim, Seajin

    2016-04-01

    The number of wildfires and accompanying human injuries and physical damages has been increased by frequent drought. Especially, Korea experienced severe drought and numbers of wildfire took effect this year. We used MaxEnt model to figure out major environmental factors for wildfire and used RCP scenarios to predict future wildfire risk area. In this study, environmental variables including topographic, anthropogenic, meteorologic data was used to figure out contributing variables of wildfire in South and North Korea, and compared accordingly. As for occurrence data, we used MODIS fire data after verification. In North Korea, AUC(Area Under the ROC Curve) value was 0.890 which was high enough to explain the distribution of wildfires. South Korea had low AUC value than North Korea and high mean standard deviation which means there is low anticipation to predict fire with same environmental variables. It is expected to enhance AUC value in South Korea with environmental variables such as distance from trails, wildfire management systems. For instance, fire occurred within DMZ(demilitarized zone, 4kms boundary from 38th parallel) has decisive influence on fire risk area in South Korea, but not in North Korea. The contribution of each environmental variables was more distributed among variables in North Korea than in South Korea. This means South Korea is dependent on few certain variables, and North Korea can be explained as number of variables with evenly distributed portions. Although the AUC value and standard deviation of South Korea was not high enough to predict wildfire, the result carries an significant meaning to figure out scientific and social matters that certain environmental variables has great weight by understanding their response curves. We also made future wildfire risk area map in whole Korean peninsula using the same model. In four RCP scenarios, it was found that severe climate change would lead wildfire risk area move north. Especially North

  16. Visualizing Earth's Erupting Volcanoes and Wildfires: Seven Years of Data From the Earth Observing Mission

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wright, R.; Pilger, E.; Flynn, L. P.; Harris, A. J.

    2006-12-01

    Volcanic eruptions and wildfires are natural hazards that are truly global in their geographic scope, as well as being temporally very dynamic. As such, satellite remote sensing lends itself to their effective detection and monitoring. The results of such mapping can be communicated in the form of traditional static maps. However, most hazards have strong time-dependent forcing mechanisms (in the case of biomass burning, climate) and the dynamism of these geophysical phenomena requires a suitable method for their presentation. Here, we present visualizations of the amount of thermal energy radiated by all of Earth's sub-aerially erupting volcanoes, wildfires and industrial heat sources over a seven year period. These visualizations condense the results obtained from the near-real-time analysis of over 1.2 million MODIS (Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectro-radiometer) images, acquired from NASA's Terra and Aqua platforms. In the accompanying poster we will describe a) the raw data, b) how these data can be used to derive higher-order geophysical parameters, and c) how the visualization of these derived products adds scientific value to the raw data. The visualizations reveal spatio-temporal trends in fire radiated energy (and by proxy, biomass combustion rates and carbon emissions into the atmosphere), which are indiscernible in the static data set. Most notable are differences in biomass combustion between the North American and Eurasian Boreal forests. We also give examples relating to the development of lava flow-fields at Mount Etna (Italy) and Kilauea (USA), as well as variations in heat output from Iraqi oil fields, that span the onset of the 2003 Persian Gulf War. The raw data used to generate these visualizations are routinely made available via the Internet, as portable ASCII files. They can therefore be easily integrated with image datasets, by other researchers, to create their own visualizations.

  17. A project for monitoring trends in burn severity

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Eidenshink, Jeffery C.; Schwind, Brian; Brewer, Ken; Zhu, Zhu-Liang; Quayle, Brad; Howard, Stephen M.

    2007-01-01

    Jeff Eidenshink, Brian Schwind, Ken Brewer, Zhi-Liang Zhu, Brad Quayle, and Elected officials and leaders of environmental agencies need information about the effects of large wildfires in order to set policy and make management decisions. Recently, the Wildland Fire Leadership Council (WFLC), which implements and coordinates the National Fire Plan (NFP) and Federal Wildland Fire Management Policies (National Fire Plan 2004), adopted a strategy to monitor the effectiveness of the National Fire Plan and the Healthy Forests Restoration Act (HFRA). One component of this strategy is to assess the environmental impacts of large wildland fires and identify the trends of burn severity on all lands across the United States. To that end, WFLC has sponsored a six-year project, Monitoring Trends in Burn Severity (MTBS), which requires the U.S. Department of Agriculture Forest Service (USDA-FS) and the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) to map and assess the burn severity for all large current and historical fires. Using Landsat data and the differenced Normalized Burn Ratio (dNBR) algorithm, the USGS Center for Earth Resources Observation and Science (EROS) and USDA-FS Remote Sensing Applications Center will map burn severity of all fires since 1984 greater than 202 ha (500ac) in the east, and 404 ha (1,000 ac) in the west. The number of historical fires from this period combined with current fires occurring during the course of the project will exceed 9,000. The MTBS project will generate burn severity data, maps, and reports, which will be available for use at local, state, and national levels to evaluate trends in burn severity and help develop and assess the effectiveness of land management decisions. Additionally, the information developed will provide a baseline from which to monitor the recovery and health of fire-affected landscapes over time. Spatial and tabular data quantifying burn severity will augment existing information used to estimate risk associated with a range

  18. Current research issues related to post-wildfire runoff and erosion processes

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Moody, John A.; Shakesby, Richard A.; Robichaud, Peter R.; Cannon, Susan H.; Martin, Deborah A.

    2013-01-01

    Research into post-wildfire effects began in the United States more than 70 years ago and only later extended to other parts of the world. Post-wildfire responses are typically transient, episodic, variable in space and time, dependent on thresholds, and involve multiple processes measured by different methods. These characteristics tend to hinder research progress, but the large empirical knowledge base amassed in different regions of the world suggests that it should now be possible to synthesize the data and make a substantial improvement in the understanding of post-wildfire runoff and erosion response. Thus, it is important to identify and prioritize the research issues related to post-wildfire runoff and erosion. Priority research issues are the need to: (1) organize and synthesize similarities and differences in post-wildfire responses between different fire-prone regions of the world in order to determine common patterns and generalities that can explain cause and effect relations; (2) identify and quantify functional relations between metrics of fire effects and soil hydraulic properties that will better represent the dynamic and transient conditions after a wildfire; (3) determine the interaction between burned landscapes and temporally and spatially variable meso-scale precipitation, which is often the primary driver of post-wildfire runoff and erosion responses; (4) determine functional relations between precipitation, basin morphology, runoff connectivity, contributing area, surface roughness, depression storage, and soil characteristics required to predict the timing, magnitudes, and duration of floods and debris flows from ungaged burned basins; and (5) develop standard measurement methods that will ensure the collection of uniform and comparable runoff and erosion data. Resolution of these issues will help to improve conceptual and computer models of post-wildfire runoff and erosion processes.

  19. The Response of a Steelhead Trout Population to Wildfire at the Landscape Scale

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Boughton, D. A.

    2012-12-01

    Wildfire is a prevalent disturbance of watersheds that impacts stream habitats and fish abundance, by direct removal of riparian vegetation and indirect effects on sediment regimes and water quality. Individual studies at the reach scale of the fish Oncorhynchus mykiss (steelhead trout) after wildfire show that habitat- and population-response is highly context dependent, suggesting broad-scale heterogeneity in effects of wildfire, possibly linked to fluvial processes. Here I report the results of a novel study design that examined wildfire response of O. mykiss and its habitat condition at 26 reaches sampled from a stream system heavily burned during the 2008 Indians/Basin Complex Fire in the central California chaparral. Proportional decline in juvenile fish abundances in the year after the wildfire were large but spatially heterogeneous (ranging by 2 orders of magnitude). Influence diagrams suggested that the major impact of the fire on the fish was not direct impacts on riparian vegetation (which were quite minor), but indirect impacts via pulses of fine sediment into channels the following winter. Abundance at some sites increased after the fire; the largest increases were not outside (downstream of) the burned area, but rather were in headwater reaches inside the burned area. In the year after the wildfire, fish abundance rebounded, with magnitude of rebound nearly proportional to the previous year's decline at most sites, suggesting rapid recovery of habitat quality and population recruitment. This study illustrates the importance of spatial structure and fluvial-process diversity for the rapid recovery of a fish after an intense wildfire.

  20. Effects of wildfire on source-water quality and aquatic ecosystems, Colorado Front Range

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Writer, Jeffrey H.; McClelskey, R. Blaine; Murphy, Sheila F.

    2012-01-01

    Watershed erosion can dramatically increase after wildfire, but limited research has evaluated the corresponding influence on source-water quality. This study evaluated the effects of the Fourmile Canyon wildfire (Colorado Front Range, USA) on source-water quality and aquatic ecosystems using high-frequency sampling. Dissolved organic carbon (DOC) and nutrient loads in stream water were evaluated for a one-year period during different types of runoff events, including spring snowmelt, and both frontal and summer convective storms. DOC export from the burned watershed did not increase relative to the unburned watershed during spring snowmelt, but substantial increases in DOC export were observed during summer convective storms. Elevated nutrient export from the burned watershed was observed during spring snowmelt and summer convective storms, which increased the primary productivity of stream biofilms. Wildfire effects on source-water quality were shown to be substantial following high-intensity storms, with the potential to affect drinking-water treatment processes.

  1. Preliminary Image Map of the 2007 Ranch Fire Perimeter, Piru Quadrangle, Ventura County, California

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Clark, Perry S.; Scratch, Wendy S.; Bias, Gaylord W.; Stander, Gregory B.; Sexton, Jenne L.; Krawczak, Bridgette J.

    2008-01-01

    In the fall of 2007, wildfires burned out of control in southern California. The extent of these fires encompassed large geographic areas that included a variety of landscapes from urban to wilderness. The U.S. Geological Survey National Geospatial Technical Operations Center (NGTOC) is currently (2008) developing a quadrangle-based 1:24,000-scale image map product. One of the concepts behind the image map product is to provide an updated map in electronic format to assist with emergency response. This image map is one of 55 preliminary image map quadrangles covering the areas burned by the southern California wildfires. Each map is a layered, geo-registered Portable Document Format (.pdf) file. For more information about the layered geo-registered .pdf, see the readme file (http://pubs.usgs.gov/of/2008/1029/downloads/CA_Agua_Dulce_of2008-1029_README.txt). To view the areas affected and the quadrangles mapped in this preliminary project, see the map index (http://pubs.usgs.gov/of/2008/1029/downloads/CA_of2008_1029-1083_index.pdf) provided with this report.

  2. Preliminary Image Map of the 2007 Santiago Fire Perimeter, Tustin Quadrangle, Orange County, California

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Clark, Perry S.; Scratch, Wendy S.; Bias, Gaylord W.; Stander, Gregory B.; Sexton, Jenne L.; Krawczak, Bridgette J.

    2008-01-01

    In the fall of 2007, wildfires burned out of control in southern California. The extent of these fires encompassed large geographic areas that included a variety of landscapes from urban to wilderness. The U.S. Geological Survey National Geospatial Technical Operations Center (NGTOC) is currently (2008) developing a quadrangle-based 1:24,000-scale image map product. One of the concepts behind the image map product is to provide an updated map in electronic format to assist with emergency response. This image map is one of 55 preliminary image map quadrangles covering the areas burned by the southern California wildfires. Each map is a layered, geo-registered Portable Document Format (.pdf) file. For more information about the layered geo-registered .pdf, see the readme file (http://pubs.usgs.gov/of/2008/1029/downloads/CA_Agua_Dulce_of2008-1029_README.txt). To view the areas affected and the quadrangles mapped in this preliminary project, see the map index (http://pubs.usgs.gov/of/2008/1029/downloads/CA_of2008_1029-1083_index.pdf) provided with this report.

  3. Preliminary Image Map of the 2007 Canyon Fire Perimeter, Malibu Beach Quadrangle, Los Angeles County, California

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Clark, Perry S.; Scratch, Wendy S.; Bias, Gaylord W.; Stander, Gregory B.; Sexton, Jenne L.; Krawczak, Bridgette J.

    2008-01-01

    In the fall of 2007, wildfires burned out of control in southern California. The extent of these fires encompassed large geographic areas that included a variety of landscapes from urban to wilderness. The U.S. Geological Survey National Geospatial Technical Operations Center (NGTOC) is currently (2008) developing a quadrangle-based 1:24,000-scale image map product. One of the concepts behind the image map product is to provide an updated map in electronic format to assist with emergency response. This image map is one of 55 preliminary image map quadrangles covering the areas burned by the southern California wildfires. Each map is a layered, geo-registered Portable Document Format (.pdf) file. For more information about the layered geo-registered .pdf, see the readme file (http://pubs.usgs.gov/of/2008/1029/downloads/CA_Agua_Dulce_of2008-1029_README.txt). To view the areas affected and the quadrangles mapped in this preliminary project, see the map index (http://pubs.usgs.gov/of/2008/1029/downloads/CA_of2008_1029-1083_index.pdf) provided with this report.

  4. Preliminary Image Map of the 2007 Witch Fire Perimeter, Santa Ysabel Quadrangle, San Diego County, California

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Clark, Perry S.; Scratch, Wendy S.; Bias, Gaylord W.; Stander, Gregory B.; Sexton, Jenne L.; Krawczak, Bridgette J.

    2008-01-01

    In the fall of 2007, wildfires burned out of control in southern California. The extent of these fires encompassed large geographic areas that included a variety of landscapes from urban to wilderness. The U.S. Geological Survey National Geospatial Technical Operations Center (NGTOC) is currently (2008) developing a quadrangle-based 1:24,000-scale image map product. One of the concepts behind the image map product is to provide an updated map in electronic format to assist with emergency response. This image map is one of 55 preliminary image map quadrangles covering the areas burned by the southern California wildfires. Each map is a layered, geo-registered Portable Document Format (.pdf) file. For more information about the layered geo-registered .pdf, see the readme file (http://pubs.usgs.gov/of/2008/1029/downloads/CA_Agua_Dulce_of2008-1029_README.txt). To view the areas affected and the quadrangles mapped in this preliminary project, see the map index (http://pubs.usgs.gov/of/2008/1029/downloads/CA_of2008_1029-1083_index.pdf) provided with this report.

  5. Preliminary Image Map of the 2007 Poomacha Fire Perimeter, Palomar Observatory Quadrangle, San Diego County, California

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Clark, Perry S.; Scratch, Wendy S.; Bias, Gaylord W.; Stander, Gregory B.; Sexton, Jenne L.; Krawczak, Bridgette J.

    2008-01-01

    In the fall of 2007, wildfires burned out of control in southern California. The extent of these fires encompassed large geographic areas that included a variety of landscapes from urban to wilderness. The U.S. Geological Survey National Geospatial Technical Operations Center (NGTOC) is currently (2008) developing a quadrangle-based 1:24,000-scale image map product. One of the concepts behind the image map product is to provide an updated map in electronic format to assist with emergency response. This image map is one of 55 preliminary image map quadrangles covering the areas burned by the southern California wildfires. Each map is a layered, geo-registered Portable Document Format (.pdf) file. For more information about the layered geo-registered .pdf, see the readme file (http://pubs.usgs.gov/of/2008/1029/downloads/CA_Agua_Dulce_of2008-1029_README.txt). To view the areas affected and the quadrangles mapped in this preliminary project, see the map index (http://pubs.usgs.gov/of/2008/1029/downloads/CA_of2008_1029-1083_index.pdf) provided with this report.

  6. Preliminary Image Map of the 2007 Slide Fire Perimeter, Butler Peak Quadrangle, San Bernardino County, California

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Clark, Perry S.; Scratch, Wendy S.; Bias, Gaylord W.; Stander, Gregory B.; Sexton, Jenne L.; Krawczak, Bridgette J.

    2008-01-01

    In the fall of 2007, wildfires burned out of control in southern California. The extent of these fires encompassed large geographic areas that included a variety of landscapes from urban to wilderness. The U.S. Geological Survey National Geospatial Technical Operations Center (NGTOC) is currently (2008) developing a quadrangle-based 1:24,000-scale image map product. One of the concepts behind the image map product is to provide an updated map in electronic format to assist with emergency response. This image map is one of 55 preliminary image map quadrangles covering the areas burned by the southern California wildfires. Each map is a layered, geo-registered Portable Document Format (.pdf) file. For more information about the layered geo-registered .pdf, see the readme file (http://pubs.usgs.gov/of/2008/1029/downloads/CA_Agua_Dulce_of2008-1029_README.txt). To view the areas affected and the quadrangles mapped in this preliminary project, see the map index (http://pubs.usgs.gov/of/2008/1029/downloads/CA_of2008_1029-1083_index.pdf) provided with this report.

  7. Preliminary Image Map of the 2007 Ammo Fire Perimeter, Margarita Peak Quadrangle, San Diego County, California

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Clark, Perry S.; Scratch, Wendy S.; Bias, Gaylord W.; Stander, Gregory B.; Sexton, Jenne L.; Krawczak, Bridgette J.

    2008-01-01

    In the fall of 2007, wildfires burned out of control in southern California. The extent of these fires encompassed large geographic areas that included a variety of landscapes from urban to wilderness. The U.S. Geological Survey National Geospatial Technical Operations Center (NGTOC) is currently (2008) developing a quadrangle-based 1:24,000-scale image map product. One of the concepts behind the image map product is to provide an updated map in electronic format to assist with emergency response. This image map is one of 55 preliminary image map quadrangles covering the areas burned by the southern California wildfires. Each map is a layered, geo-registered Portable Document Format (.pdf) file. For more information about the layered geo-registered .pdf, see the readme file (http://pubs.usgs.gov/of/2008/1029/downloads/CA_Agua_Dulce_of2008-1029_README.txt). To view the areas affected and the quadrangles mapped in this preliminary project, see the map index (http://pubs.usgs.gov/of/2008/1029/downloads/CA_of2008_1029-1083_index.pdf) provided with this report.

  8. Preliminary Image Map of the 2007 Harris Fire Perimeter, Barrett Lake Quadrangle, San Diego County, California

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Clark, Perry S.; Scratch, Wendy S.; Bias, Gaylord W.; Stander, Gregory B.; Sexton, Jenne L.; Krawczak, Bridgette J.

    2008-01-01

    In the fall of 2007, wildfires burned out of control in southern California. The extent of these fires encompassed large geographic areas that included a variety of landscapes from urban to wilderness. The U.S. Geological Survey National Geospatial Technical Operations Center (NGTOC) is currently (2008) developing a quadrangle-based 1:24,000-scale image map product. One of the concepts behind the image map product is to provide an updated map in electronic format to assist with emergency response. This image map is one of 55 preliminary image map quadrangles covering the areas burned by the southern California wildfires. Each map is a layered, geo-registered Portable Document Format (.pdf) file. For more information about the layered geo-registered .pdf, see the readme file (http://pubs.usgs.gov/of/2008/1029/downloads/CA_Agua_Dulce_of2008-1029_README.txt). To view the areas affected and the quadrangles mapped in this preliminary project, see the map index (http://pubs.usgs.gov/of/2008/1029/downloads/CA_of2008_1029-1083_index.pdf) provided with this report.

  9. Preliminary Image Map of the 2007 Witch Fire Perimeter, Escondido Quadrangle, San Diego County, California

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Clark, Perry S.; Scratch, Wendy S.; Bias, Gaylord W.; Stander, Gregory B.; Sexton, Jenne L.; Krawczak, Bridgette J.

    2008-01-01

    In the fall of 2007, wildfires burned out of control in southern California. The extent of these fires encompassed large geographic areas that included a variety of landscapes from urban to wilderness. The U.S. Geological Survey National Geospatial Technical Operations Center (NGTOC) is currently (2008) developing a quadrangle-based 1:24,000-scale image map product. One of the concepts behind the image map product is to provide an updated map in electronic format to assist with emergency response. This image map is one of 55 preliminary image map quadrangles covering the areas burned by the southern California wildfires. Each map is a layered, geo-registered Portable Document Format (.pdf) file. For more information about the layered geo-registered .pdf, see the readme file (http://pubs.usgs.gov/of/2008/1029/downloads/CA_Agua_Dulce_of2008-1029_README.txt). To view the areas affected and the quadrangles mapped in this preliminary project, see the map index (http://pubs.usgs.gov/of/2008/1029/downloads/CA_of2008_1029-1083_index.pdf) provided with this report.

  10. Preliminary Image Map of the 2007 Ranch Fire Perimeter, Fillmore Quadrangle, Ventura County, California

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Clark, Perry S.; Scratch, Wendy S.; Bias, Gaylord W.; Stander, Gregory B.; Sexton, Jenne L.; Krawczak, Bridgette J.

    2008-01-01

    In the fall of 2007, wildfires burned out of control in southern California. The extent of these fires encompassed large geographic areas that included a variety of landscapes from urban to wilderness. The U.S. Geological Survey National Geospatial Technical Operations Center (NGTOC) is currently (2008) developing a quadrangle-based 1:24,000-scale image map product. One of the concepts behind the image map product is to provide an updated map in electronic format to assist with emergency response. This image map is one of 55 preliminary image map quadrangles covering the areas burned by the southern California wildfires. Each map is a layered, geo-registered Portable Document Format (.pdf) file. For more information about the layered geo-registered .pdf, see the readme file (http://pubs.usgs.gov/of/2008/1029/downloads/CA_Agua_Dulce_of2008-1029_README.txt). To view the areas affected and the quadrangles mapped in this preliminary project, see the map index (http://pubs.usgs.gov/of/2008/1029/downloads/CA_of2008_1029-1083_index.pdf) provided with this report.