Forest fire detection using the normalized multi-band drought index (NMDI) with satellite measurements
Document Type: Journal Article
Author(s): Lingli Wang; John J. Qu; Xianjun Hao
Publication Year: 2008

Cataloging Information

  • biomass burning
  • coniferous forests
  • croplands
  • drought
  • fire case histories
  • fire detection
  • fire management
  • forest management
  • Georgia
  • Greece
  • remote sensing
  • satellite imagery
  • savannas
  • SFP - Southern Fire Portal
  • soil moisture
  • statistical analysis
  • swamps
  • water
  • wildfires
Record Maintained By:
Record Last Modified: June 1, 2018
FRAMES Record Number: 21778
Tall Timbers Record Number: 23700
TTRS Location Status: In-file
TTRS Call Number: Fire File
TTRS Abstract Status: Okay, Fair use, Reproduced by permission

This bibliographic record was either created or modified by the Tall Timbers Research Station and Land Conservancy and is provided without charge to promote research and education in Fire Ecology. The E.V. Komarek Fire Ecology Database is the intellectual property of the Tall Timbers Research Station and Land Conservancy.


This study focuses on investigating the ability of selected satellite-derived indices, the normalized multi-band drought index (NMDI), normalized difference water index (NDWI), and the normalized burn ratio (NBR), for detecting forest fires burning in southern Georgia, USA and southern Greece in 2007. Index performance is evaluated using MODIS fire products. Satellite images generated from each index are compared with the active fire map provided by the MODIS rapid response team. Performance measures extracted from the statistical analyses using the confusion matrices are used to verify the capacity of the indices for active fire detection. For each test case, NMDI has strong signals corresponding to active fires and pinpoints the active fire spots accurately. Both, performance evaluations by image comparison and statistical analyses, indicate that active fire detection using NMDI is quite accurate. NMDI reveals the highest overall performance and discrimination power compared to NDWI and NBR. The successful application of NMDI for detecting fires in different areas proves that NMDI is not site-specific and is expected to be applicable to different areas for active fire detection. Such a capacity can help monitor large-scale fire hazards and is therefore useful to carry out regional and global studies.

Online Link(s):
Wang, Lingli; Qu, John J.; Hao, Xianjun. 2008. Forest fire detection using the normalized multi-band drought index (NMDI) with satellite measurements. Agricultural and Forest Meteorology 148(11):1767-1776.