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Assessing and reinitializing wildland fire simulations through satellite active fire data

Author(s): Adrián Cardil, Santiago Monedero, Joaquin Ramírez, Alberto Silva
Year Published: 2019

Large wildfires can cover millions of hectares of forest every year worldwide, causing losses in ecosystems and assets. Fire simulation and modeling provides an analytical scheme to characterize and predict fire behavior and spread in several and complex environments. Spatial dynamics of large wildfires can be analyzed using satellite active fire data, a cost-effective way to acquire information systematically worldwide. The simulated growth of three large wildland fires from the USA, Chile and Spain with different fire spread pattern, duration and size has been compared to satellite active fire data. Additionally, a new approach to reinitialize fire simulations in near real-time and predict a more accurate fire spread is shown in this work. Discrepancies between the simulated fire growth and satellite active data were measured spatially and temporally in the three fires, increasing along the fire duration. The reinitialization approach meaningfully improved the accuracy of fire simulations in all case studies. Satellite active fire data showed a high potential to be used in real fire incidents, improving fire monitoring and simulation and, therefore, supporting the decision-making process of the fire analyst. The reinitialization approach could be applied by using the current satellite active fire data such as MODIS or VIIRS as well as Unmanned Aerial Vehicles or GPS locations from suppression resources.

Citation: Cardil, Adrián; Monedero, Santiago; Ramírez, Joaquin; Silva, Carlos Alberto. 2019. Assessing and reinitializing wildland fire simulations through satellite active fire data. Journal of Environmental Management 231:996-1003.
Topic(s): Fire Behavior, Simulation Modeling, Mapping
Ecosystem(s): None
Document Type: Book or Chapter or Journal Article
NRFSN number: 19103
FRAMES RCS number: 56965
Record updated: Mar 19, 2019