A Dynamic Algorithm for Wild Land Burned Scar Detection Using NOAA AVHRR Data

Document Type


Publication Date


Digital Object Identifier (DOI)



A wildfire-mapping algorithm is proposed based on fire dynamics, called the dynamic algorithm. It is applied to daily NOAA/AVHRR/HRPT data for wildland areas (scrub, chaparral, grassland, marsh, riparian forest, woodland, rangeland and forests) in California for September and October 1999. Daily AVHRR images acquired from two successive days are compared for active fire detection and burn scar mapping. The algorithm consists of four stages: data preparation; hotspot detection; burn scar mapping; and final confirmation of potential burn scar pixels. Preliminary comparisons between the result mapped by the dynamic algorithm and the fire polygons collected by the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection through ground survey indicate that the algorithm can track burn scars at different developmental stages at a daily level. The comparisons between wildfire mapping results produced by a modified version of an existing algorithm and the dynamic algorithm also indicate this point. This is the major contribution of this algorithm to wildfire detection methods. The dynamic algorithm requires highly precise registration between consecutive images.

Citation / Publisher Attribution

International Journal of Wildland Fire, v. 13, issue 3, p. 275-285