Tuesday, 18 November 2003: 1:30 PM
Supporting the Mapping Needs of Burned Area Emergency Response Teams with Satellite Imagery
Burned Area Emergency Response (BAER) teams traditionally assess and map post-fire burn severity using a combination of aerial and ground reconnaissance. This process is expensive and time-intensive due to the potentially large areas to be assessed and often mountainous or difficult terrain. An enhanced or alternative method of estimating burn severity information is through the use of satellite imagery. The Forest Service Remote Sensing Applications Center (RSAC) and the USGS EROS Data Center (EDC) have worked cooperatively to develop an operational capability supporting the rapid delivery of satellite imagery and burned area reflectance classification (BARC) data to BAER teams. Satellite imagery covering the area of each fire incident is acquired at, or very near, the containment date. The imagery and BARC data are then provided to BAER teams usually within 24-48 hours following image acquisition. BAER team resource experts and GIS support staff refine and edit satellite derived estimates of burn severity, based upon available ground truth and other knowledge, as a means to decrease preparation times and improve accuracy of final burn severity map products.