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Page Title - Glossary

Burn Severity The degree that a site has been altered or disrupted by fire, loosely a product of fire intensity and residence time. Data developed by the MTBS project are intended to primarily characterize fire effects in above-ground biomass.

Composite Burn Index (CBI) A numerical, synoptic rating calculated from a field-based estimate of fire effects on individual strata within a plot or site in a burned area. Estimates the overall impact to a site based on post-fire conditions averaged across the burnable portion of the site.

Differenced Normalized Burn Ratio (dNBR) a differenced NBR image, or change image, created where the post-fire NBR is subtracted from the pre-fire NBR. The dNBR may be used to discriminate burned from unburned areas and identify vegetation burn severity classes. For MTBS, the dNBR is calculated as:

dNBR = NBR pre-fire NBR post-fire

Extended Assessment Fire mapping assessments that rely on satellite data typically acquired during the growing season following a fire in order to include delayed first order effects (e.g., latent tree mortality) and dominant second order effects that are ecologically significant (e.g., initial site response and early secondary effects).

Fire Atlas A compendium of geospatial layers, maps, and tabular information that illustrate fire activity at the individual fire level for a given geographic area and/or period of time.

Fire Effects The physical, biological, and ecological impacts of fire on the Environment (NWCG Glossary of Wildland Fire Terminology).

Fire Effects, First Order Those effects manifested on the biophysical components or systems that existed at the time of the fire. First order fire effects are the direct result of the combustion processes, including plant injury and death, fuel consumption, and smoke production (Reinhardt and others 2001).

Initial Assessment Fire mapping assessments that rely on satellite data typically acquired at the first opportunity after fire to capitalize on the maximum post-fire data signal and is used primarily in ecosystems that exhibit rapid post-fire vegetation response (i.e. herbaceous and particular shrubland systems).

Landsat Imagery Thematic Mapper (TM), Enhanced Thematic Mapper (ETM), and Operational Land Imager (OLI) image data from the Landsat 5, Landsat 7, and Landsat 8 satellites, respectively. Image scenes have a footprint area of approximately 34,000 square kilometers and a pixel resolution of 30 meters. Spectral information is contained in several bands representing distinct wavelengths in the visible, infrared, and thermal portions of the electromagnetic spectrum.

MTBS Fire Occurrence Database (FOD) Relevant spatial and aspatial fire occurrence data description elements for each fire mapped by the MTBS project. Data elements include the latitude/longitude of the centroid of the MTBS fire perimeter centroid.

Nationwide MTBS Data MTBS data in a year where all fires across CONUS were mapped.

Normalized Burn Ratio (NBR) a normalized index that emphasizes the spectral response of fire-affected vegetation by leveraging Landsat TM/ETM bands 4 (near-infrared) and 7 (mid-infrared) in an effort to provide the best contrast between photosynthetically healthy and burned vegetation. For MTBS, an NBR is calculated for each pre-fire and post-fire scene as:

NBR = (TM4 - TM7) (TM4 + TM7)

Original Dataset The original geospatial data and mapping products for a mapped MTBS fire provided by the MTBS project and generated according to project mapping protocols.

Prescribed Fire Any fire ignited by management actions to meet specific objectives (NWCG Glossary of Wildland Fire Terminology).

Relative differenced Normalized Burn Ratio (RdNBR) a normalized version of the dNBR that removes the biasing effect of the pre-fire conditions (Miller et al 2009). The algorithm for RdNBR is calculated as:

RdNBR = dNBR / SquareRoot(ABS(NBR pre-fire / 1000))

Remote Sensing Index A mathematical calculation derived from two or more image bands. Typically used to enhance the spectral properties of a feature or condition of interest on the ground, i.e., burn scars.

Revised Dataset A revised version of the original geospatial data and mapping products for a mapped MTBS fire. If a need for corrections to the original dataset is identified by the MTBS quality control process, the geospatial data and mapping products are revised accordingly and republished. The original MTBS dataset is removed from the data distribution archive.

Spatial Resolution The areal extent of the smallest unit, pixel, or feature that can be resolved on an image, map, or surface. Typically expressed as a measure of distance, i.e., 30 meter pixel, but can also be expressed as a unit of area.

Thematic Resolution The finest level of content for a given map or thematic layer attribute.

Wildfire An unplanned, unwanted wildland fire including unauthorized human-caused fires, escaped wildland fire use events, escaped prescribed fire projects, and all other wildland fires where the objective is to put the fire out (NWCG Glossary of Wildland Fire Terminology).

Wildland Fire Any non-structure fire that occurs in the wildland. Three distinct types of wildland fire have been defined and include wildfire, wildland fire use, and prescribed fire (NWCG Glossary of Wildland Fire Terminology).

Wildland Fire Use The application of the appropriate management response to naturally-ignited wildland fires to accomplish specific resource management objectives in predefined designated areas outlined in Fire Management Plans (NWCG Glossary of Wildland Fire Terminology).

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