Approaches for Satellite-Derived Maps of California Shrublands for Fire Mitigation

Krista West, San Diego State University

Recorded at Spectral Sessions 2021

After a wildland fire burns through chaparral and coastal sage scrub communities, non-native grasses and forbs are often the first vegetation growth form to establish within burn scar perimeters. In the event of a future ignition, these invaders are considered to be “flashy” fuels that burn and often spread flames faster than native vegetation. The objective of this research is to develop and test Spectral Mixture Analysis (SMA) and Multiple Endmember SMA (MESMA) applied to moderate spatial resolution Landsat imagery for quantification of fractional herbaceous vegetation cover in Southern California shrubland ecoregions. Data can be utilized by firefighters, geographers, ecologists, planners, and community members to determine areas that may require mitigation prior to the start of a new wildland fire.