Table of Contents

Fire Ecology
Volume 3, Issue 1 - 2007
DOI: 10.4996/fireecology.0301

About the Cover



Authors: Andrew T. Hudak, Andrea E. Thode, and Jan W. van Wagtendonk
Pages: 1-2
DOI: 10.4996/fireecology.0301001

Fire is a primary change agent in many terrestrial ecosystems. Appreciation is growing for the essential role fire plays in fire-adapted ecosystems. Nevertheless, humans living in the wildland urban interface (WUI) understandably regard fires as a threat to their safety, their property, or the natural resources and ecosystem services upon which they depend. As land development has expanded into the WUI, so has the demand for better spatial information regarding fire danger and fire effects, both short- and long-term.

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Research Articles

A Project for Monitoring Trends in Burn Severity

Authors: Jeff Eidenshink, Brian Schwind, Ken Brewer, Zhu-Liang Zhu, Brad Quayle, and Stephen Howard
Pages: 3-21
DOI: 10.4996/fireecology.0301003

Elected officials and leaders of environmental agencies need information about the effects of large wildfires in order to set policy and make management decisions. Recently, the Wildland Fire Leadership Council (WFLC), which implements and coordinates the National Fire Plan (NFP) and Federal Wildland Fire Management Policies (National Fire Plan 2004), adopted a strategy to monitor the effectiveness of the National Fire Plan and the Healthy Forests Restoration Act (HFRA).

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Assessing Accuracy of Manually-mapped Wildfire Perimeters In Topographically Dissected Areas

Authors: Crystal A. Kolden and Peter J. Weisberg
Pages: 22-31
DOI: 10.4996/fireecology.0301022

Accurate mapping of wildfires is critical to fire management. Technological advances in remote sensing and Geographic Information Systems (GIS) over the last decade have been widely incorporated into wildfire mapping and management, but neither have been assessed for accuracy nor compared to established manual methods. Since Landsat-based mapping of wildfires will soon replace manual mapping methods, this type of comparison is critical to understanding the strengths of each method.

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A Satellite Analysis of Contrasting Fire Patterns in Aboriginal- and Euro-Australian Lands in Tropical North Australia

Authors: Aaron M. Petty and David M.J.S. Bowman
Pages: 32-47
DOI: 10.4996/fireecology.0301032

We use satellite imagery to compare and contrast fire patterns across a repeating mosaic of vegetation types occurring within the tropical savanna of the Northern Territory, Australia. Our study area included different land management settings that encapsulate three contrasting styles of management that have developed following European settlement in northern Australia.

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Australian Savanna Fire Regimes: Context, Scales, Patchiness

Authors: Jeremy Russell-Smith and Cameron P. Yates
Pages: 48-63
DOI: 10.4996/fireecology.0301048

The development of continental-scale fire mapping using AVHRR since the early 1990s and, more recently, MODIS imagery, is transforming our understanding of Australian fire regimes—particularly the national significance of savanna burning. The savannas of northern Australia are the most fire-prone part of a fire-prone continent. The savanna region comprises 1,898,562 km2 (24.7% of the Australian landmass), of which 21% has been burnt on average each year, over the period 1997-2005.

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The Relationship of Multispectral Satellite Imagery to Immediate Fire Effects

Authors: Andrew T. Hudak, Penelope Morgan, Michael J. Bobbitt, Alistair M.S. Smith, Sarah A. Lewis, Leigh B. Lentile, Peter R. Robichaud, Jess T. Clark, and Randy A. McKinley
Pages: 64-90
DOI: 10.4996/fireecology.0301064

The Forest Service Remote Sensing Applications Center (RSAC) and the U.S. Geological Survey Earth Resources Observation and Science (EROS) Data Center produce Burned Area Reflectance Classification (BARC) maps for use by Burned Area Emergency Response (BAER) teams in rapid response to wildfires. BAER teams desire maps indicative of fire effects on soils, but green and nonphotosynthetic vegetation and other materials also affect the spectral properties of post-fire imagery.

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Post-Fire Burn Severity and Vegetation Response Following Eight Large Wildfires Across the Western United States

Authors: Leigh B. Lentile, Penelope Morgan, Andrew T. Hudak, Michael J. Bobbitt, Sarah A. Lewis, Alistair M.S. Smith, and Peter R. Robichaud
Pages: 91-108
DOI: 10.4996/fireecology.0301091

Vegetation response and burn severity were examined following eight large wildfires that burned in 2003 and 2004: two wildfires in California chaparral, two each in dry and moist mixed-conifer forests in Montana, and two in boreal forests in interior Alaska. Our research objectives were: 1) to characterize one year post-fire vegetation recovery relative to initial fire effects on the soil surface that could potentially serve as indicators of vegetation response (and thus, ultimately longerterm post-fire ecosystem recovery), and 2) to use a remotely-sensed indicator of burn severity to describe landscape patterns in fire effects.

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Mapping Ground Cover Using Hyperspectral Remote Sensing After the 2003 Simi and Old Wildfires in Southern California

Authors: Sarah A. Lewis, Leigh B. Lentile, Andrew T. Hudak, Peter R. Robichaud, Penelope Morgan, and Michael J. Bobbitt
Pages: 109-127
DOI: 10.4996/fireecology.0301109

Wildfire effects on the ground surface are indicative of the potential for post-fire watershed erosion response. Areas with remaining organic ground cover will likely experience less erosion than areas of complete ground cover combustion or exposed mineral soil. The Simi and Old fires burned ~67,000 ha in southern California in 2003. Burn severity indices calculated from pre- and postfire multispectral imagery were differenced (i.e., differenced Normalized Burn Ratio (dNBR)) to highlight fire-induced changes to soil and vegetation.

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Simulation Approaches for Burn Severity Estimation Using Remotely Sensed Images

Authors: Emilio Chuvieco, Angela De Santis, David Riaño, and Kerry Halligan
Pages: 129-150
DOI: 10.4996/fireecology.0301129

Traditional field-based methods for estimating burn severity are time-consuming, labour intensive and normally limited in spatial extent. Remotely sensed data provide a means to estimate severity levels across large areas, but it is critical to understand the causes of variability in spectral response with variations in burn severity. Since experimental measurements over a range of burn severities are difficult to obtain, the simulation tools provided by radiative transfer models (RTM) offer a promising alternative to better understand factors affecting burn severity reflectances.

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