You are here: Home / Research Topics / Research Highlights / Individual Highlight

Research Highlights

Individual Highlight

Ground-based Estimates of Fire Severity Reveal Information Undetected by Satellite Imagery Analyses

Photo of A sequoia scarred by a 2015 fire in the Sierra National Forest. U.S. Department of Agriculture Forest Service.A sequoia scarred by a 2015 fire in the Sierra National Forest. U.S. Department of Agriculture Forest Service.Snapshot : A new study provides a broad-scale characterization of the extent of relatively low-severity fires and small fires, including prescribed fires, not previously available. Fire-severity classifications based on tree mortality, combined with remotely sensed and management information on timing and treatments, could be readily applied to nationally consistent Forest Inventory and Analysis (FIA) data to provide improved monitoring of fire effects anywhere FIA inventories occur.

Principal Investigators(s) :
Gray, Andrew 
Research Location : Oregon, Washington
Research Station : Pacific Northwest Research Station (PNW)
Year : 2016
Highlight ID : 1135

Summary

Determining how the frequency, severity, and extent of forest fires are changing in response to changes in management and climate is a key concern in many regions where fire is an important natural disturbance. Forest Service scientists developed the first broad-scale, ground-survey-based statistical estimates of fire severity for a full range of severities and fire sizes. They compared their results with from those satellite-based analyses and found that about 20 percent of the forested National Forest System lands experiencing fires, either wildfires or prescribed burns, between 1993 and 2007, were not noted on the maps generated by the satellite-based analyses.

Forest Service Partners

External Partners

 
  • Oregon State University

Strategic
Program Areas

Priority
Areas