An integrated methodology for estimation of forest fire-loss using geospatial information

Joon Heo, Ji Sang Park, Yeong Sun Song, Suk Kun Lee, Hong Gyoo Sohn

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)


These days, wildfires are prevalent in almost all areas of the world. Researchers have been actively analyzing wildfire damage using a variety of satellite images and geospatial datasets. This paper presents a method for detailed estimation of wildfire losses using various geospatial datasets and an actual case of wildfire at Kang-Won-Do, Republic of Korea in 2005. A set of infrared (IR) aerial images acquired after the wildfire were used to visually delineate the damaged regions, and information on forest type, diameter class, age class, and canopy density within the damaged regions was retrieved from GIS layers of the Korean national forest inventory. Approximate tree heights were computed from airborne LIDAR and verified by ground LIDAR datasets. The corresponding stand volumes were computed using tree volume equations (TVE). The proposed algorithm can efficiently estimate fire loss using the geospatial information; in the present case, the total fire loss was estimated as $5.9 million, which is a more accurate estimate than $4.5 million based on conventional approach. The proposed method can be claimed as a powerful alternative for estimating damage caused by wildfires, because the aerial image interpretation can delineate and analyze damaged regions in a comprehensive and consistent manner; moreover, LIDAR datasets and national forest inventory data can significantly reduce field work.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)285-299
Number of pages15
JournalEnvironmental Monitoring and Assessment
Issue number1-3
Publication statusPublished - 2008 Sept

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Acknowledgements This work was supported by grant NIDP-PR-2005-1-1 (Title: Development of Damage Investigation Technique/developing an Analysis Technique for Wide-range Regions with Severe Damage), and is intended for practical use by the Korean National Institute for Disaster Prevention.

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Environmental Science(all)
  • Pollution
  • Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law


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