A machine-learning approach for identifying dense-fires and assessing atmospheric emissions on the Indochina Peninsula, 2010–2020
Document Type: Journal Article
Author(s): Yaoqian Zhong; Ping Ning; Si Yan; Chaoneng Zhang; Jia Xing; Jianwu Shi; Jiming Hao
Publication Year: 2022

Cataloging Information

  • density-based clustering
  • FINN - Fire Inventory of NCAR
  • human-caused fires
  • Indochina Peninsula
  • machine learning
  • MODIS - Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer
  • wildfire
  • International
Record Maintained By:
Record Last Modified: July 28, 2022
FRAMES Record Number: 66218


Persistent and intensive wildland dense-fires (DFs) release substantial amounts of airborne pollutants, resulting in a sharp increase in emissions and leading to serious impacts on the environment and human health over extensive geographical areas. It is challenging to thoroughly investigate patterns of fire occurrence and fire distribution for predicting wildfire behaviour, and it is especially difficult to distinguish the characteristics of human-caused and climate-driven fires. Here, we identify and assess dense-fire (DF) from the perspective of spatiotemporally integrated processes using a machine-learning method based on a density-based clustering algorithm with noise constraint ratio. DFs represent collections of fires with homogenous behaviour and therefore allow the study of their internal features, which can reveal fixed patterns of fire occurrence and distribution as well as the evolution of fires over time. We estimated and labelled thousands of fire clusters on the Indochina Peninsula between 2010 and 2020, most of which occurred between December and May. For large-scale DFs, the number of fires contained and amount of atmospheric pollutants emitted were accounted for throughout most of the region, and the time, location and scale of their occurrence each year were relatively stable and predictable. Furthermore, the results of a secondary cluster analysis of fire interactions over the past decade showed two extreme fire events, labelled”north” and”south” groups, whose activities significantly impacted the atmospheric environment of the Indochina Peninsula. Additionally, we predicted their start/end dates and daily emissions. The study also found that the recurrence of high-density fires and the correlation between the DF edge and administrative border suggested a positive anthropogenic influence. To the authors' knowledge, this study is the first to analyze fires in a spatiotemporal Euclidean space by using density-based clustering, with high-density fires as independent subjects to study fire behaviour. The method proposed in this study can provide a reference for wildfire prediction and emission forecasting and fire control work.

Online Link(s):
Zhong, Yaoqian; Ning, Ping; Yan, Si; Zhang, Chaoneng; Xing, Jia; Shi, Jianwu; Hao, Jiming. 2022. A machine-learning approach for identifying dense-fires and assessing atmospheric emissions on the Indochina Peninsula, 2010–2020. Atmospheric Research 278:106325.