Over the past 10 years, satellite imagery has become one of the primary tools that forest fire professionals use to evaluate forest fire risk and plan for disaster. In this article, we examine the methodologies that Proimagery utilizes to quantify first fire risk to insurers and property owners.
A forest fire can be a damaging ecological and environmental disaster whether it is caused by natural forces or man-made activity. Nature cannot be controlled and is often hard to predict. The proliferation of satellite imagery and image processing techniques have made it easier to estimate high-risk areas and minimize the frequency of forest fire and reduce or avert damage.
High-risk areas for forest fire are locations where forest fires are more likely to start, and from where they can easily spread. Understanding the factors that influence the occurrence of fire and its dynamic behavior are critical aspects of fire management.
Butte County Camp Fire – November 2018
On November 6, 2018, a huge wildfire hit Butte County in California. This event was also known as the Camp Fire 2018. The Camp Fire 2018 was the deadliest and most destructive wildfire in California history up to date and according to insurers, it was also the costliest single natural disaster in the world resulting in $12.5 billion in insurable losses.
Assessing risk before a wildfire happens – Proimagery uses satellite imagery and remote sensing processes to map high-risk areas for wildfire. In the image below, a process called the Categorized Vegetation dryness index was used to calculate the risk of wildfire through a thick, forested area by estimating the dryness of the vegetation around it.
A satellite image captured before the wildfire shows the dryness of the vegetation within the affected area of the wildfire.
There are a number of ways that satellite imagery can augment your damage response process both before and after a wildfire. Reach out to Proimagery if you are interested in learning more.