Poster Session P1.5 Correlation between remotely sensed fire intensity and fuel consumption in California chaparral – a case study

Tuesday, 23 October 2007
Wingwood (Atlantic Oakes Resort)
David R. Weise, USDA Forest Service, Riverside, CA; and P. J. Riggan

Handout (463.9 kB)

In October 2006, a wildfire burned 16137 hectares near Riverside, CA. The dominant fuel types within the fire perimeter were desert scrub, chamise chaparral, and interior sage scrub. High-resolution thermal imagery of active fire behavior was collected by the aircraft-based FireMapper® on 6 percent of the total burned area. Fire intensity data were broken into three classes – low, medium, and high. The respective measured areas for these classes were approximately 986, 91, and 1.9 ha, respectively. During the dormant season following the fire, approximately 150 circular sample plots (78.5 m2 in size) were located within the fire perimeter to estimate fuel consumption. Seventy-five plots were equally allocated to the fire intensity classes in areas measured by FireMapper®, 75 were located in areas not measured by FireMapper®. An onsite assessment assigned each plot to low, medium or high intensity class and the average branch tip diameters remaining on the shrubs were recorded. Fuel consumption will be estimated using fuel inventory data collected prior to and in adjacent unburned chaparral stands. Correlation between the ground-based fire intensity estimates and the remotely-sensed thermal measurements will be presented.
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