Fire is a key earth-system and Anthropocene process (Bowman et al. 2009; Smith et al. 2016a). Fire impacts on the global carbon (C) cycle from both anthropogenic and natural sources, with 1350-3400 Tg C emitted from land-use changes, agricultural practices and residential uses, and 2750-4600 Tg C emitted in wildfire events, which exhibit high interannual variability (Westerling et al. 2006; van der Werf et al. 2010; Wotton et al. 2010; Balch et al. 2013; Lannom et al. 2014; Smith et al. 2016a). Biomass burning emissions can be determined from top-down assessments such as the Global Fire Emissions Database (Kaiser et al. 2012) and bottom-up approaches via fuel and combustion properties, emission factors and area burned (Seiler and Crutzen 1980). Recently, an alternative bottom-up route that overcomes limitations associated with pre-fire fuel and combustion completeness data is to directly measure the radiant heat released (Hardy et al. 2001; Wooster et al. 2005).