Canadian Forest Service Publications

Fire danger monitoring using ERS-1 SAR images in the case of northern boreal forests. 2002. Leblon, B.; Kasischke, E.S.; Alexander, M.E.; Doyle, M.; Abbott, M. Natural Hazards 27: 231-255.

Year: 2002

Issued by: Northern Forestry Centre

Catalog ID: 18517

Language: English

Availability: Order paper copy (free), PDF (request by e-mail)

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Research was carried out to assess the potential of imaging radar systems for monitoring forest fire danger. In Canada, daily forest fire danger ratings are generated by the Canadian Forest Fire Danger Rating System (CFFDRS), based on estimates of fire weather indices (FWI) and measured foliar moisture content (FMC). To evaluate the potential of imaging radar, an experiment was conducted using test sites consisting of jack pine, black spruce and white spruce stands located in the MacKenzie river basin, Northwest Territories, Canada. Radar image intensity values from ERS-1 SAR imagery collected over these stands in 1994 were compared to FWI indices and FMC data. FWI indices were calculated using data from local weather stations. Seasonal trends in radar backscatter (0) were shown to correlate with temperature and precipitation. Significant relationships were found between 0 and FWI codes and indices, particularly in the case of the black spruce stands, with slow-drying fuels, like duff moisture code (DMC), drought code (DC), and build-up index (BUI). Rates of changes in 0were related to rates of changes in FMC, particularly in the case of the jack pine stands for old FMC and in the case of white spruce stands for composite FMC.