Heather Fire – Northumberland March 2010

northumberland_plot_configurationThis page shows data of a 945 m² prescribed fire conducted in Northumberland (UK) in March 2010 (Dold et al., 2010). The NERC Airborne Research and Survey Facility (ARSF) participated in this experiment, collecting, amongst other datasets, high resolution (39 megapixel) Leica RCD105 digital frame camera imagery during a series of overpasses. One Leica image is shown at right, and was used to compare to thermal imagery collected from a handheld IR imager (and AGEMA 550) flown in a helicopter. From this IR imagery, brightness temperature and fire radiative power (FRP) maps were derived.

The burn plot was a rectangle of  45 m by 21 m. The fuel was heather, with a density of 1.5 +/- 0.5 kg/m² and a moisture content of 60 +/- 2% determined by in-situ sampling. A weather station (wxt) and 3D sonic anemometer (3sa) were located close to the plot border. The fire was ignited simultaneously on the northern edge as a back fire line, and at the south east corner as an ignition point. During the  fire, the helicopter was hovering around 120 m above ground, and was observing the plot with view azimuth and zenith angles of around 8 and 55 degree, respectively.

The animations below shows the raw thermal brightness temperature time-series, as captured by the handheld AGEMA 550 camera in the helicopter (left), along with the corresponding geo-referenced imagery from which metrics like fire front rate of spread can be derived (right).


This below animation shows the fire front propagation (black pixels). The front is considered to reach a pixel when this pixel first exceeds 600K. The 600K iso-line of brightness temperature of the geo-referenced images is shown by the grey line. The background image shows the map of integrated fire radiative energy (FRE; color bar on the left in MJoules) The “Rate Of Spread” is also shown with a reference vector on the top left corner of 0.3 m/s.



Some pictures of the fire on the ground: