Remote Sensing in the Wildland-Urban Interface

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Remote Sensing technologies in the Wildland-Urban Interface (WUI) have shown promise for use in post-fire WUI assessments, derivation of WUI fire model inputs and pre-fire WUI assessments. Remote sensing is an important technology for post-fire WUI assessments and can fill in many data gaps in assessment of the WUI fire disturbance continuum. Point cloud data from Light Intensity Detection and Ranging (LIDAR) and color imagery have shown promise for deriving WUI fire model inputs and remote sensing derived 30 meter spatial resolution wildland fire model inputs have been created for most of the United States. Finally, most pre-fire assessments utilize some form of remote sensing technologies, to a lesser or greater extent. However, validation of the use of this data for WUI assessments is in its infancy. Nonetheless, remote sensing technologies have proven useful in post-fire assessment of WUI fire damaged communities. There are various techniques that can be utilized for identifying important elements in ground, nadir and oblique WUI post-fire imagery. These techniques include aerial photo interpretation and fusion of LIDAR and pre- and post-fire color infrared imagery. The use of a GIS based tool for integration of remote sensing data in the creation of WUI fire model simulations will also be demonstrated to qualitatively examine empirical fire model outputs produced from different resolution data. In all cases the need for accompanying ground assessments has been demonstrated. Consequently, an initial framework for the integration of field data collection with remote sensing for complete assessment of the WUI fire disturbance continuum will be detailed. This work is being conducted by Geospatial Measurement Solutions under a Fire Research Grant from the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) and specifically focused on achieving objectives of the Fire Risk Reduction in Communities Program.

Derek McNamara, Alexander Maranghides, William Mell, Anthony Bova

Derek McNamara is a GIS Analyst for Geospatial Measurement Solutions. Mr. McNamara has extensive experience using remote sensing technologies for assessment of the WUI. Mr. McNamara is the principal investigator on the NIST funded project. Alexander Maranghides is a Fire Protection Engineer for NIST. Mr. Maranghides has been involved in many post-fire WUI assessments and is the Federal Program Officer for the Fire Grant. Mr. Maranghides has provided a fire science perspective to interpretation of remote sensing data for post-fire assessments. William Mell is a Combustion Engineer and Fire Modeler Fire Protection for the USFS. Dr. Mell has been involved in many post-fire WUI assessments and is the developer of the Wildland/WUI-Fire Dynamics Simulator (WFDS). Anthony Bova is a Research Associate with Colorado State University. Mr. Bova is a co-developer of WFDS and has implemented a simple and fast-executing level set fire-front propagation model that is consistent with the Farsite model for surface fires.

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October 17, 2013 - 10:30am - 11:00am
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