FIREMON - Landscape assessment
Document Type: Report
Author(s): Carl H. Key; Nate C. Benson
Editor(s): Duncan C. Lutes; Robert E. Keane II; John F. Caratti; Carl H. Key; Nate C. Benson; Steve Sutherland; Larry J. Gangi
Publication Year: 2006

Cataloging Information

  • analysis
  • burn severity
  • CBI - composite burn index
  • FIREMON - Fire Effects Monitoring and Inventory Protocol
  • NBR - Normalized Burn Ratio
  • sample design
  • sampling methods
Record Maintained By:
Record Last Modified: December 13, 2016
FRAMES Record Number: 598


Landscape Assessment primarily addresses the need to identify and quantify fire effects over large areas, at times involving many burns. In contrast to individual case studies, the ability to compare results is emphasized along with the capacity to aggregate information across broad regions and over time. Results show the spatial heterogeneity of burns and how fire interacts with vegetation and topography. The quantity measured and mapped is 'burn severity,' defined here as a scaled index gauging the magnitude of ecological change caused by fire. In the process, two methodologies are integrated. Burn Remote Sensing (BR) involves remote sensing with Landsat 30-meter data and a derived radiometric value called the Normalized Burn Ratio (NBR). The NBR is temporally differenced between pre- and postfire datasets to determine the extent and degree of change detected from burning (fig. LA-1). Two timeframes of acquisition identify effects soon after fire and during the next growing season for Initial and Extended Assessments, respectively. The latter includes vegetative recovery potential and delayed mortality. The Burn Index (BI) adds a complementary field sampling approach, called the Composite Burn Index (CBI). It entails a relatively large plot, independent severity ratings for individual strata, and a synoptic rating for the whole plot area. Plot sampling may be used to calibrate and validate remote sensing results, to relate detected radiometric change to actual fire effects on the ground. Alternatively, plot sampling may be implemented in stand-alone field surveys for individual site assessment.

Online Link(s):
Link to this document (31.3 MB; pdf)
Key, Carl H.; Benson, Nathan C. 2006. FIREMON - Landscape assessment. Pages LA 1-55 In: Lutes, Duncan C.; Keane, Robert E.; Caratti, John F.; Key, Carl H.; Benson, Nathan C.; Sutherland, Steve; Gangi, Larry J. 2006. FIREMON: Fire effects monitoring and inventory system. General Technical Report RMRS-GTR-164-CD. Fort Collins, CO: USDA Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Research Station.