USFA: Investigation of MODIS-Detected Fires in NFIRS

Using MODIS data as a means for identifying wildfire incidents that may be missing from NFIRS

 

 

Investigation of MODIS-Detected Fires in NFIRS8.

 

United States Fire Administration

Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS)1 is a satellite-based instrument used to collect data about features on the Earth’s surface.

Scientists have developed algorithms to analyze that data to detect active fires. Researchers David T. Butry and Douglas S. Thomas published a paper in 20172 that compared the MODIS active fire data for California from 2003 to 2014 to wildfire incident data collected by the U.S. Fire Administration’s (USFA’s) National Fire Incident Reporting System (NFIRS) and found that only 32% of the MODIS-detected fires could be matched to an NFIRS incident.

See also  PG&E to Purge Most of Board in Bankruptcy Fallout

In conducting this analysis, USFA’s goal was to apply a variation of Butry and Thomas’s MODIS/NFIRS fire incident matching process at the national level to determine if the same proportion of data could be matched in the rest of the U.S. Additionally, as a path to improving NFIRS reporting, it was thought that this could be a first step in determining the feasibility of using MODIS data as a means for identifying wildfire incidents that may be missing from NFIRS.

Using geocoded 2017 NFIRS data for all fire incidents in the U.S., USFA found that only 1.1% of the MODIS observations (or 1.6% of MODIS-identified incidents) occurred within 1 kilometer and 24 hours of any NFIRS-reported incident. It was determined that 6.4% of MODIS-identified incidents occurred within national parks and national forests, grasslands, and wilderness areas, but only a handful of these incidents appear in NFIRS data. As for the remaining unmatched MODIS-identified incidents, it is uncertain whether they occurred in other public lands; were small, controlled unreported fires; or were false positives.

See also  Crews Brace for Return of Dangerous California Winds

Read The Report

Topics

Using MODIS data as a means for identifying wildfire incidents that may be missing from NFIRS       United States Fire Administration Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS)1 is a satellite-based instrument used to collect data about features on the Earth’s surface. Scientists have developed algorithms to analyze that data to detect active fires. Researchers […]

Get The Wildland Firefighter Newsletter

Related Articles

Rain, Snowfall Reduce Risk of CA Wildfires

Rain, Snowfall Reduce Risk of CA Wildfires

By JOHN ANTCZAK LOS ANGELES (AP) — A turn to wet weather has blunted an already moderate wildfire season in California but some risk remains as changing climate has made a rainy fall no guarantee of a stormy winter. The latest Pacific storm brought bands of rain and...

Experiment Captures Data on CA’s Most Dangerous Wildfires

Experiment Captures Data on CA’s Most Dangerous Wildfires

Jack Lee – San Francisco Chronicle Oct. 27—Canyon wildfires produce some of the most challenging conditions for fire crews working to suppress blazes. Steep inclines in hard-to-reach areas can make it extremely difficult for firefighters to get to the flames. On top...

Crete (NE) Firefighter Burned Over 20% of His Body in Wildfire

Crete (NE) Firefighter Burned Over 20% of His Body in Wildfire

Andrew Wegley – Lincoln Journal Star, Neb. Oct. 25—KRAMER — Though the full extent of the damage caused by a pair of Sunday wildfires in southern Lancaster County remained unclear Monday, officials emphasized that the quick actions of scores of firefighters and area...