Pre-fire, Post-fire, and Forest Recovery Using Lidar and Burn Severity Analysis

Submitted by tadamson on

The 2012 Pole Creek Fire in the Deschutes National Forest in Oregon continues to provide an exceptional opportunity to study wildland fire effects with remote sensing data. This project builds upon wildland fire remote sensing research by addressing novel questions through the analysis of pre-fire, post-fire, and a new 8+ year post-fire forest recovery lidar acquisition. Lidar will also be fused with optical remote sensing data, such as the recently approved Planet and WorldView high-resolution multispectral imagery. Through the analysis of lidar from the recovery of the forest, researchers are assessing how pre-fire conditions and forest management activities affected the recovery potential and outcomes for a variety of forest types and along a gradient of burn severity measures.

Recently published research from this project used multitemporal lidar and corresponding field data to estimate fuel consumption for the 2012 Pole Creek Fire in Oregon and portions of the 2011 Las Conchas Fire in New Mexico. Additionally, estimates for change in aboveground biomass (AGB) were compared to energy release estimates using fire radiative energy (FRE) observations from Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) satellites to mechanistically derive a combustion coefficient for top-down estimation. Past research efforts included the evaluation of lidar- and Landsat-derived burn severity indices, and fuel treatment and mountain pine beetle infestation effects on fire severity using multitemporal lidar data. This research is quantifying how pre-fire forest condition affects burn severity and how various remote sensing techniques can be used to explain fire patterns and improve modeling and remote sensing of wildland fire for natural resource management and forest ecology.

Location of the Pole Creek Fire in central Oregon and the overlap of viable light detection and ranging (lidar) and Landsat imagery.


Author Name
Jason Kreitler
Author Email