Western Kentucky University

Poster Title

Using Satellite Remote Sensing Data to Describe Spatiotemporal Characteristics of Fire in Nepal

Institution

Western Kentucky University

Abstract

Fire is an integral and complex aspect of environmental systems throughout the world. Understanding the influences on fire patterns is essential to effective natural resource management. Nepal, a south Asian country with ineffective resource management, is especially susceptible to the consequences of uncontrolled fires. A methodology to track fires using satellite remote sensing and geographic information systems is described. This study employed MODIS satellite data from 2000 to 2010 to generate spatial and temporal statistics describing the characteristics of fire in Nepal. Elevation, moisture, seasonality, and other spatiotemporal layers were used to describe the pattern of fires. Areas with human influence, particularly agriculture and grazing, experienced more burned area overall. Fires occurred more frequently during springs and winters. Major causes behind such distributions are grazers, medicinal plant collectors, poachers and smokers or travelers whilst poor resource management overshadows all these factors. Conservation areas were also particularly susceptible to fires, raising doubts about the effectiveness of resource management strategies.

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Using Satellite Remote Sensing Data to Describe Spatiotemporal Characteristics of Fire in Nepal

Fire is an integral and complex aspect of environmental systems throughout the world. Understanding the influences on fire patterns is essential to effective natural resource management. Nepal, a south Asian country with ineffective resource management, is especially susceptible to the consequences of uncontrolled fires. A methodology to track fires using satellite remote sensing and geographic information systems is described. This study employed MODIS satellite data from 2000 to 2010 to generate spatial and temporal statistics describing the characteristics of fire in Nepal. Elevation, moisture, seasonality, and other spatiotemporal layers were used to describe the pattern of fires. Areas with human influence, particularly agriculture and grazing, experienced more burned area overall. Fires occurred more frequently during springs and winters. Major causes behind such distributions are grazers, medicinal plant collectors, poachers and smokers or travelers whilst poor resource management overshadows all these factors. Conservation areas were also particularly susceptible to fires, raising doubts about the effectiveness of resource management strategies.