Canadian Forest Service Publications

Remote sensing of burn severity: experience from western Canada boreal fires. 2008. Hall, R.J.; Freeburn, J.T.; de Groot, W.J.; Pritchard, J.; Lynham, T.J.; Landry, R. International Journal of Wildland Fire 17(4): 476-489.

Year: 2008

Issued by: Northern Forestry Centre

Catalog ID: 28883

Language: English

Availability: PDF (request by e-mail)

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The severity of a burn for post-fire ecological effects has been assessed with the composite burn index (CBI) and the differenced Normalized Burn Ratio (dNBR). This study assessed the relationship between these two variables across recently burned areas located in the western Canadian boreal, a region not extensively evaluated in previous studies. Of particular interest was to evaluate the nature of the CBI–dNBR relationship from the perspectives of modelling, the influence of fire behaviour prediction (FBP) fuel type, and how field observations could be incorporated into the burn severity mapping process.A non-linear model form best represented the relationship between these variables for the fires evaluated, and a similar statistical performance was achieved when data from all fires were pooled into a single dataset. Results from this study suggest the potential to develop a single model for application over thewestern region of the boreal, but further evaluation is necessary. This evaluation could include stratification by FBP fuel type due to study results that document its apparent influence on dNBR values.A new approach for burn severity mapping was introduced by defining severity thresholds through field assessment of CBI, and from which development of new models could be incorporated directly into the mapping process.