Miettinen, J, Langner, A, Siegert, F (2007). Burnt area estimation for the year 2005 in Borneo using multi-resolution satellite imagery. INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF WILDLAND FIRE, 16(1), 45-53.
Humid tropical South-East Asia suffers significant yearly biomass burning. This paper evaluates and compares the results of medium-resolution ( MODIS) burnt area mapping and hotspot-based assessment of fire affected areas in Borneo in 2005, using field observations and high resolution Landsat ETM+ data as reference. Based on burnt area mapping, over 600 000 ha burnt in large-scale vegetation fires. Approximately 90% of this burning took place in degraded ecosystems and was related to agricultural land clearing activities or logged over forests. The estimation based on active fire detection (hotspots) resulted in a total burnt area of more than 1.1 million hectares. The reason for this significant difference was that small scale shifting cultivation fires could not be detected in MODIS images. These results indicate that a combination of both methods is required to reliably assess burnt areas in Borneo using medium-resolution MODIS satellite imagery.