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Integrated fire severity–land cover mapping using very-high-spatial-resolution aerial imagery and point clouds

Author(s): Jeremy Arkin, Nicholas C. Coops, Txomin Hermosilla, Lori D. Daniels, Andrew Plowright
Year Published: 2019

Wildfires cause substantial environmental and socioeconomic impacts and threaten many Spanish forested landscapes. We describe how LiDAR-derived canopy fuel characteristics and spatial fire simulation can be integrated with stand metrics to derive models describing fire behaviour. We assessed the potential use of very-low-density airborne LiDAR (light detection and ranging) data to estimate canopy fuel characteristics in south-western Spain Mediterranean forests. Forest type-specific equations were used to estimate canopy fuel attributes, namely stand height, canopy base height, fuel load, bulk density and cover. Regressions explained 61–85, 70–85, 38–96 and 75–95% of the variability in field estimated stand height, canopy fuel load, crown bulk density and canopy base height, respectively. The weakest relationships were found for mixed forests, where fuel loading variability was highest. Potential fire behaviour for typical wildfire conditions was predicted with FlamMap using LiDAR-derived canopy fuel characteristics and custom fuel models. Classification tree analysis was used to identify stand structures in relation to crown fire likelihood and fire suppression difficulty levels. The results of the research are useful for integrating multi-objective fire management decisions and effective fire prevention strategies within forest ecosystem management planning.

Citation: Arkin J, Coops NC, Hermosilla T. Daniels LD and Plowright A. 2019. Integrated fire severity–land cover mapping using very-high-spatial-resolution aerial imagery and point clouds. International Journal of Wildland Fire 28 (11): 840-860. https://doi.org/10.1071/WF19008
Topic(s): Fire Behavior, Simulation Modeling, Flammap, Fire Regime, Fire Intensity / Burn Severity, Mapping
Ecosystem(s): None
Document Type: Book or Chapter or Journal Article
NRFSN number: 20369
Record updated: Dec 9, 2019