Assessing and reinitializing wildland fire simulations through satellite active fire data
Document Type: Journal Article
Author(s): Adrián Cardil ; Santiago Monedero ; Joaquin Ramírez ; Carlos Alberto Silva
Publication Year: 2019

Cataloging Information

  • active fires
  • Chile
  • fire modeling
  • fire simulation
  • fire spread
  • remote sensing
  • Spain
  • VIIRS - Visible Infrared Imaging Radiometer Suite
  • wildfire analyst
Record Maintained By:
Record Last Modified: December 12, 2018
FRAMES Record Number: 56965


Large wildfires can cover millions of hectares of forest every year worldwide, causing losses in ecosystems and assets. Fire simulation and modeling provides an analytical scheme to characterize and predict fire behavior and spread in several and complex environments. Spatial dynamics of large wildfires can be analyzed using satellite active fire data, a cost-effective way to acquire information systematically worldwide. The simulated growth of three large wildland fires from the USA, Chile and Spain with different fire spread pattern, duration and size has been compared to satellite active fire data. Additionally, a new approach to reinitialize fire simulations in near real-time and predict a more accurate fire spread is shown in this work. Discrepancies between the simulated fire growth and satellite active data were measured spatially and temporally in the three fires, increasing along the fire duration. The reinitialization approach meaningfully improved the accuracy of fire simulations in all case studies. Satellite active fire data showed a high potential to be used in real fire incidents, improving fire monitoring and simulation and, therefore, supporting the decision-making process of the fire analyst. The reinitialization approach could be applied by using the current satellite active fire data such as MODIS or VIIRS as well as Unmanned Aerial Vehicles or GPS locations from suppression resources.

Online Link(s):
Cardil, Adrián; Monedero, Santiago; Ramírez, Joaquin; Silva, Carlos Alberto. 2019. Assessing and reinitializing wildland fire simulations through satellite active fire data. Journal of Environmental Management 231:996-1003.