The International Archives of the Photogrammetry, Remote Sensing and Spatial Information Sciences
Publications Copernicus
Articles | Volume XLVIII-M-1-2023
21 Apr 2023
 | 21 Apr 2023


O. Kantarcioglu, K. Schindler, and S. Kocaman

Keywords: Forest fire susceptibility, forest inventory, random forest, artificial neural network, spatial probability distribution

Abstract. Forest fires have devastating effects on biodiversity, climate, and humans. Producing detailed and reliable forest fire susceptibility maps is crucial for disaster management. Data-driven machine learning methods can be applied for forest fire susceptibility mapping, and learning data required for this purpose can be obtained from high-resolution satellite imagery along with a fire inventory. In this study, we assessed the performances of Random Forest (RF) and artificial neural network (ANN) classifiers for producing forest fire susceptibility maps of a region in north-east Türkiye covering Trabzon, Gümüşhane, Rize, and Bayburt provinces using freely available Earth observation data and forest inventory provided by the regional directorate. Forest type, EU-DEM v1.1 (25 m), and tree cover density were retrieved from Copernicus Land Monitoring Service. Sentinel-2 images were utilized for calculating spectral indices such as normalized difference vegetation index and modified normalized difference water index to assess surface water and vegetation characteristics. Thus, a total of twelve variables including topographic, anthropogenic, hydrologic, vegetation and land use data were used as input. The RF and ANN illustrated similar prediction performances based on receiver operating characteristics (ROC) area under the curve (AUC) values, which were 0.89 and 0.88, respectively. The RF performed better in terms of overall accuracy and F-1 score. The susceptibility maps with 25 m resolution were also investigated visually. The ANN results predicted higher susceptibility levels and larger areas were found prone to wildfire. Leave-one-out analysis results indicated that elevation was the most influential factor based on the achieved OA.