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Article

Examining Landscape-Scale Fuel and Terrain Controls of Wildfire Spread Rates Using Repetitive Airborne Thermal Infrared (ATIR) Imagery

1
Department of Geography, San Diego State University, San Diego, CA 92182, USA
2
USDA Forest Service, Pacific Southwest Research Station, Riverside, CA 96002, USA
3
National Center for Atmospheric Research, P.O. Box 3000, Boulder, CO 80301, USA
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 4 January 2021 / Revised: 27 January 2021 / Accepted: 29 January 2021 / Published: 3 February 2021
The objectives of this study are to evaluate landscape-scale fuel and terrain controls on fire rate of spread (ROS) estimates derived from repetitive airborne thermal infrared (ATIR) imagery sequences collected during the 2017 Thomas and Detwiler extreme wildfire events in California. Environmental covariate data were derived from prefire National Agriculture Imagery Program (NAIP) orthoimagery and USGS digital elevation models (DEMs). Active fronts and spread vectors of the expanding fires were delineated from ATIR imagery. Then, statistical relationships between fire spread rates and landscape covariates were analyzed using bivariate and multivariate regression. Directional slope is found to be the most statistically significant covariate with ROS for the five fire imagery sequences that were analyzed and its relationship with ROS is best characterized as an exponential growth function (adj. R2 max = 0.548, min = 0.075). Imaged-derived fuel covariates alone are statistically weak predictors of ROS (adj. R2 max = 0.363, min = 0.002) but, when included in multivariate models, increased ROS predictability and variance explanation (+14%) compared to models with directional slope alone. View Full-Text
Keywords: wildland fire; extreme wildfire event; fire rate of spread; thermal imagery; regression wildland fire; extreme wildfire event; fire rate of spread; thermal imagery; regression
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MDPI and ACS Style

Schag, G.M.; Stow, D.A.; Riggan, P.J.; Tissell, R.G.; Coen, J.L. Examining Landscape-Scale Fuel and Terrain Controls of Wildfire Spread Rates Using Repetitive Airborne Thermal Infrared (ATIR) Imagery. Fire 2021, 4, 6. https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/fire4010006

AMA Style

Schag GM, Stow DA, Riggan PJ, Tissell RG, Coen JL. Examining Landscape-Scale Fuel and Terrain Controls of Wildfire Spread Rates Using Repetitive Airborne Thermal Infrared (ATIR) Imagery. Fire. 2021; 4(1):6. https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/fire4010006

Chicago/Turabian Style

Schag, Gavin M., Douglas A. Stow, Philip J. Riggan, Robert G. Tissell, and Janice L. Coen 2021. "Examining Landscape-Scale Fuel and Terrain Controls of Wildfire Spread Rates Using Repetitive Airborne Thermal Infrared (ATIR) Imagery" Fire 4, no. 1: 6. https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/fire4010006

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