BURNT AREA DETECTION USING MEDIUM RESOLUTION SENTINEL 2 AND LANDSAT 8 SATELLITES
Forest fire is one of the most serious environmental problems in Kenya that influences human activities, climate change and biodiversity. The main goal of this study is to apply medium resolution sensors (Landsat 8 OLI and Sentinel 2 MSI) to produce burnt area severity maps that will include small fires (< 100 ha) in order to improve burnt area detection and mapping in Kenya. Normalized burnt area indices were generated for specified pre- and post-fire periods. The difference between pre- and post-fire Normalized Burnt Ration (NBR) was used to compute δNBR index depicting forest disturbance by fire events. Thresholded classes were derived from the computed δNBR indices to obtain burnt severity maps. The spatial and temporal agreements of the Burnt area detection dates were validated by comparing against the MODIS MCD641 500 m products and MODIS Fire Information for Resource Management System (FIRMS) 1 km daily product hot-spot acquisition dates. This approach was implemented on Google Earth Engine (GEE) platform with a simple user interface that allows users to auto-generate burnt area maps and statistics. The operational GEE application developed can be used to obtain burnt area severity maps and statistics that allow for initial accurate approximation of fire damage.