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International Journal of Wildland Fire
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 Just Accepted

This article has been peer reviewed and accepted for publication. It is in production and has not been edited, so may differ from the final published form.

Calibration of the Fire Weather Index over Mediterranean Europe based on fire activity retrieved from MSG satellite imagery

Carlos DaCamara, Teresa Calado, Sofia Ermida, Isabel Trigo, Malik Amraoui, K Turkman


Here we present a procedure that allows the operational generation of daily maps of fire danger over Mediterranean Europe. These are based on an integrated use of vegetation cover maps, weather data, and fire activity as detected by remote sensing from space. The study covers the period of July-August 2007 to 2009. It is demonstrated that statistical models based on two-parameter Generalized Pareto (GP) distributions adequately fit the observed samples of fire duration and that these models are significantly improved when the Fire Weather Index (FWI), that rates fire danger, is integrated as a covariate of scale parameters of GP distributions. Probabilities of fire duration exceeding specified thresholds are then used to calibrate FWI leading to the definition of five classes of fire danger. Fire duration is estimated on the basis of 15-minute data provided by Meteosat Second Generation (MSG) satellites and corresponds to the total number of hours fire activity is detected in a single MSG pixel during one day. Considering all observed fire events with duration above 1 h, the relative number of events steeply increases with classes of increasing fire danger and no fire activity was recorded in the class of low danger. Defined classes of fire danger provide useful information for wildfire management and are on the basis of the Fire Risk Mapping (FRM) product that is being disseminated on a daily basis by the EUMETSAT Satellite Application Facility on Land Surface Analysis (LSA SAF).

WF13157  Accepted 23 April 2014
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