Special Issue "Remotely Sensed Estimates of Fire Radiative Energy"

A special issue of Fire (ISSN 2571-6255).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 1 February 2022.

Special Issue Editors

Prof. Dr. Alistair M. S. Smith
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Dr. Evan Ellicott
E-Mail Website1 Website2
Guest Editor
Department of Geographical Sciences, University of Maryland, College Park, MD 20740, USA
Interests: wildfire; fire; remote sensing; land cover; land use
Special Issues and Collections in MDPI journals
Dr. Patrick H. Freeborn
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
U.S. Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Research Station, Fire Sciences Laboratory, Missoula, MT 59808, USA
Interests: wildland fire; remote sensing; fire danger rating systems; firefighter safety
Special Issues and Collections in MDPI journals

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Heat produced from fire, often measured as heat yield (MJ kg-1), is thermal energy transferred via conduction, convection, vaporization, and radiation, and provides a metric of the total potential energy released if complete combustion of the fuel occurs. It is the radiative component estimated from Earth observing (EO) satellite sensors, providing synoptic monitoring of this global fire phenomenon.

Satellite estimates of the instantaneous radiative power emitted from fires, and the corresponding time-integrated fire radiative energy (FRE), offer fire characterization (e.g., intensity) as well as relationships to derive other metrics such as biomass consumption and plume injection heights. 

Employing the Stefan–Boltzmann law, a detected fire pixel’s instantaneous energy, or power (megawatts), can be estimated. The law states that the power radiated per unit area across all wavelengths is proportional to the thermodynamic temperature of the fire (assumed to be a black body) raised to the fourth power.  Kaufman et al. (1998) introduced the idea of fire radiative energy (FRE) from remote sensing and the relationship with biomass combustion and emissions, developing an empirical relationship between the brightness temperature and rate of thermal radiative energy. The algorithm was later refined by Wooster et al. (2003, 2012) in which FRP is approximated using the detected radiance rather than brightness temperature, atmospheric transmittance for the 4 µm channel is accounted for, and a sensor-specific empirical constant is used.

Numerous studies in laboratory and field settings have also sought to parameterize how FRP and FRE vary with vegetation type, fuel properties, and canopy coverage, among other factors. Research has also explored using FRP and FRE in a predictive capacity to assess smoke plume dynamics and source characterization, forecast vegetation mortality and long-term recovery, and assess the occurrence of disasters at global scales.

Advances in sensors and algorithms have continued to evolve, and the application of FRP and FRE have expanded, but questions of accuracy, precision, and uncertainty still remain. Specific topics include, but are not limited to:

  • FRP/FRE and fire behavior or spread modeling;
  • FRP/FRE and smoke plume dynamics;
  • Biomass consumption using FRP/FRE;
  • Emissions estimates using FRP/FRE and maximum FRP;
  • Disaster assessments using maximum FRP;
  • Novel approaches to estimate FRP and FRE;
  • Laboratory and field assessments of FRP/FRE;
  • Sources of variability in radiative fraction;
  • FRP/FRE and vegetation mortality and recovery;
  • Inter-sensor comparisons of FRP/FRE approximation;
  • Blended product development;
  • Uncertainty analysis;
  • Product validation;
  • Sensor development.

You may choose our Joint Special Issue in Remote Sensing.

Dr. Alistair M. S. Smith
Dr. Evan Ellicott
Dr. Patrick H. Freeborn
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Fire is an international peer-reviewed open access quarterly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1400 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.


  • fire radiative energy
  • satellite estimates
  • biomass
  • thermal radiative energy
  • fire

Published Papers

This special issue is now open for submission.
Back to TopTop