B.C. researchers develop prediction system for human-caused wildfires

CBC News
October 30, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

Paul Pickell

A team of B.C. researchers has developed a system it says can be used to predict the likelihood of human-caused wildfires in boreal forests, allowing fire officials to focus their preparations and prevention efforts. The system uses satellite imagery to track the growth of new leaves in forest undergrowth during the spring, which gives the researchers an idea of how flammable a given tract of forest is going to be over the rest of the season. “We essentially just go download that imagery and process it and create a prediction on about a week-by-week basis,” said Paul Pickell, a post-doctoral fellow in UBC’s Faculty of Forestry. “We can know by the end of March, before the start of the fire season, essentially when is going to be the most flammable part of the fire season for human-caused fires.”

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