National Scale Operational Mapping of Burnt Areas as a Tool for the Better Understanding of Contemporary Wildfire Patterns and Regimes

Charalampos Kontoes, Iphigenia Keramitsoglou, Ioannis Papoutsis, Nicolas Sifakis, Panteleimon Xofis
2013 Sensors  
This paper presents the results of an operational nationwide burnt area mapping service realized over Greece for the years 2007-2011, through the implementation of the so-called BSM_NOA dedicated method developed at the National Observatory of Athens for post-fire recovery management. The method exploits multispectral satellite imagery, such as Landsat-TM, SPOT, FORMOSAT-2, WorldView and IKONOS. The analysis of fire size distribution reveals that a high number of fire events evolve to large and
more » ... extremely large wildfires under favorable wildfire conditions, confirming the reported trend of an increasing fire-severity in recent years. Furthermore, under such conditions wildfires affect to a higher degree areas at high altitudes, threatening the existence of ecologically significant ecosystems. Finally, recent socioeconomic changes and land abandonment has resulted in the encroachment of former agricultural areas of limited productivity by shrubs and trees, resulting both in increased fuel availability and continuity, and subsequently increased burnability.
doi:10.3390/s130811146 pmid:23966201 pmcid:PMC3812647 fatcat:344opttzgvar5cuqda5gpbzcue