New GRL paper on biomass burning

Holly’s paper using Florida fire records to test the ability of satellites to detect fires is now available in Geophysical Research Letters. We found that current satellites detect only one-quarter of the fire area in Florida. Moreover, the satellites do not detect the slight decrease in fire area during drought in Florida, which is a sign that the state’s prescribed fire policy is helping to reduce the risk of fire to people and property. These same results likely apply to broad areas of South America, Africa, and Asia, where fire types similar to Florida are found.

Left: Fire types found in Florida, from government records. Right: Comparison of fire area detected by satellites (BAECV version 1.1 and GFED version 4.1s) to the reported fire area (FFS+FPA FOD). All data averaged 2004-2015. The satellite detect only 25% of the reported fire area.

For more information:

Nowell, H. K., Holmes, C. D., Robertson, K., Teske, C., & Hiers, J. K. (2018). A new picture of fire extent, variability, and drought interaction in prescribed fire landscapes: Insights from Florida government records. Geophysical Research Letters, 45.