Measuring fire severity involves measurements like acres burned or amount of canopy consumed that are fairly easy to collect after fire, providing information on what a fire has done to the landscape. However, statistics for area burned are not always useful to managers. When wildfire spreads through an area, it also creates a mosaic that includes patches experiencing low-, medium-, and high-severity fires. Land managers often need the total number of acres burned broken down by these severity classes for planning after wildfire.
To meet this need, Forest Service scientists and their cooperators developed the Fire Severity (FIRESEV) Mapping project, a comprehensive set of tools and procedures that create, evaluate, and deliver fire severity maps for all phases of fire management. Output includes real-time forecasts and assessments in wildfire situations, wildfire rehabilitation efforts, and long-term planning. These products help managers understand burn potential in the western U.S. and provide guidance on the ecological effects of burn severity.
Visit the Fire Lab website for additional information of FIRESEV here.