HPC MSU

Publication Abstract

Assessment of Pre- and Post-Katrina Fuel Conditions as a Component of Fire Potential Modeling for Southern Mississippi

Cooke, W. H., Grala, K., Evans, D. L., & Collins, C. (2007). Assessment of Pre- and Post-Katrina Fuel Conditions as a Component of Fire Potential Modeling for Southern Mississippi. Journal of Forestry. Society of American Foresters. 105(8), 389-397.

Abstract

Geographic information system models that assess fire hazard in southern Mississippi were developed in response to damage caused by Hurricane Katrina. Long time series of Landsat imagery, pre- and post-Katrina satellite imagery, and aerial imagery were integrated in a rapid-response sampling design to assess changes in fire hazard. The study assesses pre- and post-Katrina fuels as one component of fire potential models. Determining how these changes affect fire hazard is important for natural disaster response and recovery efforts. The analysis resulted in spatial depictions and summary statistics of fire hazard. Overall accuracy of the remotely sensed damage assessment was 72%. Because of the hurricane, areas of very low hazard decreased from 19 to 3%, whereas areas of very high hazard increased from 3 to 13%. These results were validated with actual fire occurrence data and indicate that increased numbers of fire suppression personnel may be needed for coming fire seasons in the region.