Estimation of live fuel moisture content from MODIS images for fire risk assessment
Document Type: Journal Article
Author(s): Marta Yebra; Emilio Chuvieco; David Riaño
Publication Year: 2008

Cataloging Information

  • ecosystem dynamics
  • Europe
  • fire danger rating
  • fire management
  • fire risk assessment
  • fuel management
  • fuel moisture
  • fuel moisture content
  • grasslands
  • ignition
  • leaves
  • live fuels
  • Mediterranean habitats
  • MODIS - Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer
  • moisture
  • national parks
  • radiation
  • radiative transfer models
  • range management
  • remote sensing
  • season of fire
  • shrublands
  • Spain
  • statistical analysis
  • wildfires
  • International
Record Maintained By:
Record Last Modified: June 1, 2018
FRAMES Record Number: 21780
Tall Timbers Record Number: 22842
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 paper presents a method to estimate fuel moisture content (FMC) of Mediterranean vegetation species from satellite images in the context of fire risk assessment. The relationship between satellite images and field collected FMC data was based on two methodologies: empirical relations and statistical models based on simulated reflectances derived from radiative transfer models (RTM). Both models were applied to the same validation data set to compare their performance. FMC of grassland and shrublands were estimated using a 5-year time series (2001–2005) of Terra moderate resolution imaging spectroradiometer (MODIS) images. The simulated reflectances were based on the leaf level PROSPECT coupled with the canopy level SAILH RTM. The simulated spectra were generated for grasslands and shrublands according to their biophysical parameters traits and FMC range. Both models, empirical and statistical models based on RTM, offered similar accuracy with better determination coefficients for grasslands (r2 = 0.907, and 0.894, respectively) than for shrublands (r2 = 0.732 and 0.842, respectively). Although it is still necessary to test these equations in other areas with analogous types of vegetation, preliminary tests indicate that the adjustments based on simulated data offer similar results, but with greater robustness, than the empirical approach.

Online Link(s):
Yebra, Marta; Chuvieco, Emilio; Riaño, David. 2008. Estimation of live fuel moisture content from MODIS images for fire risk assessment. Agricultural and Forest Meteorology 148(4):523-536.