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Characterizing the 2018 Camp Fire Severity and Dynamics Using Landsat-8 and Sentinel-2 Satellite Imagery, and Field Inventory Data

Authors: Kelsey Hope*, Clark University, John Rogan, Research Advisor
Topics: Remote Sensing, Applied Geography, Field Methods
Keywords: Camp Fire, Landsat-8, Sentinel-2, Normalized Burn Ratio
Session Type: Guided Poster
Presentation File: No File Uploaded


The 2018 Camp Fire in California is recognized by many scientists and policy-makers to be a stark indicator of future fire seasons having increased wildfire burn area/severity. The Camp Fire burned a total of 153,336 acres, destroyed 18,804 structures and resulted in 85 civilian fatalities as well as several firefighter injuries. Therefore, the Camp Fire is the deadliest and most destructive fire in California history, to date. The goal of this research was to characterize the 2018 Camp Fire using Landsat-8 and Sentinel-2 satellite imagery, through a field-calibrated delta Normalized Burn Ratio analysis. Forty-two, field plots were surveyed in the Camp Fire perimeter in June 2018, where soil burn severity was assessed. The results of the research show that the area of burned vegetation was approximately 43,044 ha. The area of high burn severity was 13,054 ha (30% of the total area burned). The burn severity map was compared to fireline location data to evaluate if firefighting efforts resulted in lower severity.

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