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Cheng, D; Rogan, J; Schneider, L; Cochrane, M (2013). Evaluating MODIS active fire products in subtropical Yucatan forest. REMOTE SENSING LETTERS, 4(5), 455-464.

The Yucatan Peninsula has experienced increasingly frequent wildfire activity associated with drought and forest clearing during the last two decades. Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) satellite data provide timely, although not invariably, consistent estimates of fire dynamics for reasons that are not fully explicated. This research evaluates the accuracy of the MODIS active fire products (MOD14/MYD14) using field inventory reports for the 2011 fire season. Results show that 23% of fires in forest were detected by MODIS Terra and Aqua and that a higher detection rate (70%) occurs in pasture and milpa/secondary forest. Analysis of detection omission reveals that the 310-K MODIS 4-m threshold is higher than the temperature of the majority of forest fires. This article recommends the use of a lower detection threshold at 305 K for densely forested locations and use of forest versus non-forest masks to improve forest fire detection in subtropics.



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