Presenter Information

Michael Balda
Allison Shinn

Document Type

Oral Presentation

Location

SURC Ballroom B/C/D

Start Date

21-5-2015

End Date

21-5-2015

Keywords

Wildfire, Analysis, Recovery

Abstract

Eastern Washington State has seen an increase in wildfire activity because of policies of fire suppression and changing climate. The Colockum Tarps wildfire started on July 27, 2013, in Malaga, Washington, due to a water pump malfunction. After ignition, the fire quickly moved south-southwest and burned a total area of 80,408 acres of grasslands and forest. We combined fieldwork and geospatial analysis of aerial photography and satellite imagery to examine vegetative recovery within the fire area. Using ArcGIS and PCI Geomatica, we analyzed 2013 National Agricultural Imaging Program (NAIP) images and a wildfire perimeter shapefile from the Bureau of Land Management. We used Landsat 8 data from 2013, 2014, and 2015 provided by United States Geological Survey–Earth Explorer. We also used aerial photos from 2013 and burn perimeter maps provided by the Department of National Resources to obtain pre- and post-fire vegetation conditions. We used DNR Inciweb reports to see daily weather conditions and to monitor fire growth. LANDSAT 8 imagery were processed for a change detection analysis and a Normalized Burn Ratio (NBR) analysis. We also conducted fieldwork at the site of the fire. Lastly, we analyzed the datasets to evaluate overall change and burn severity to identify recovery. Using air photo techniques, we found that climatic factors have the biggest impact on wildfire growth. Using remote sensing analysis, we found that there was a significant amount of regrowth of vegetation between the months of August and October 2013 in the grassland areas, but slow regrowth in forested areas.

Poster Number

39

Faculty Mentor(s)

Jennifer Lipton

Department/Program

Environmental Studies

Additional Mentoring Department

Geography

Share

COinS
 
May 21st, 11:30 AM May 21st, 2:00 PM

Eastern Washington Wildfires: Tracking Land Recovery in the Colockum Tarps Wildfire Area

SURC Ballroom B/C/D

Eastern Washington State has seen an increase in wildfire activity because of policies of fire suppression and changing climate. The Colockum Tarps wildfire started on July 27, 2013, in Malaga, Washington, due to a water pump malfunction. After ignition, the fire quickly moved south-southwest and burned a total area of 80,408 acres of grasslands and forest. We combined fieldwork and geospatial analysis of aerial photography and satellite imagery to examine vegetative recovery within the fire area. Using ArcGIS and PCI Geomatica, we analyzed 2013 National Agricultural Imaging Program (NAIP) images and a wildfire perimeter shapefile from the Bureau of Land Management. We used Landsat 8 data from 2013, 2014, and 2015 provided by United States Geological Survey–Earth Explorer. We also used aerial photos from 2013 and burn perimeter maps provided by the Department of National Resources to obtain pre- and post-fire vegetation conditions. We used DNR Inciweb reports to see daily weather conditions and to monitor fire growth. LANDSAT 8 imagery were processed for a change detection analysis and a Normalized Burn Ratio (NBR) analysis. We also conducted fieldwork at the site of the fire. Lastly, we analyzed the datasets to evaluate overall change and burn severity to identify recovery. Using air photo techniques, we found that climatic factors have the biggest impact on wildfire growth. Using remote sensing analysis, we found that there was a significant amount of regrowth of vegetation between the months of August and October 2013 in the grassland areas, but slow regrowth in forested areas.