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Satellite data for Wildland Fire Risk Analysis

Space Imaging’s Wildland Fire Risk Assessment System (WFRAS) approach has been selected by the Southern Group of State Foresters (SGSF) to support ongoing fire management planning and wildland fire risk analysis in each community, county, congressional district and fire response zone of the organization’s 13 states. The member states are Alabama, Arkansas, Mississippi, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Virginia, Texas, Tennessee, South Carolina, North Carolina, and Oklahoma. The organization also includes the U.S. Forest Service’s Region 8 Office in Atlanta. The Texas Forest Service is administering the project on behalf of SGSF.

Space Imaging’s WFRAS is a wildland fire risk assessment methodology that employs both GIS and remote sensing technologies. It is a well-defined and repeatable process for describing fuels and analyzing wildland fire risk to suit any scale of operation, including wildland and wildland urban interface areas. The wildland fuels are mapped using 30-meter resolution Landsat imagery as a baseline. Optionally, high-resolution multi-spectral imagery from Space Imaging’s IKONOS satellite may be used for mapping fuels for specific areas of interest. To develop the methodology, Space Imaging worked with fire subject matter experts to incorporate the best wildland fire science available for fire protection planning. The Wildland Fire Risk Assessment Model contains calculations to derive indices of Wildland Fire Susceptibility, Fire Effects, Fire Response Accessibility and Wildland Fire Risk. The contract period is initially for 12 months to conduct the baseline analysis, beginning in July 2003. Once the Southern Group of State Foresters Southern Wildfire Risk Assessment project is completed, each state will be better equipped to communicate wildland fire risks to the public.