The Northwest and Alaska Fire Research Clearinghouse
 The Northwest and Alaska Fire Research Clearinghouse

www.fs.fed.us/pnw/fera/firehouse 

Regional Fuel Mapping: Linking Inventory Plots with Satellite Imagery and GIS Databases Using the Gradient Nearest Neighbor Method (GNN)
The GNN-FIRE project investigated use of the Gradient Nearest Neighbor (GNN) method for mapping vegetation and fuels in three contrasting ecoregions in the Western US. The GNN method uses multivariate direct gradient analysis to link field plot data, satellite imagery, and maps of environmental variables in a raster GIS database. Prior to the GNN-FIRE project, GNN had been successfully used to generate forest vegetation maps suitable for detailed, stand-level modeling across large multi-ownership provinces in coastal Oregon and central Oregon. However, the method had not been tested in other ecoregions, nor specifically for mapping fuels. Accurate regional maps of vegetation and fuels are increasingly needed for assessing fire hazard, planning fuel management, and modeling the behavior and effects of prescribed burns and wildfires. This study examined the utility of GNN for predicting fuel patterns in three prototype landscapes in coastal Oregon, northeastern Washington, and the California Sierra Nevada, which encompass vegetation from dense forests to rangelands in a mosaic of natural and human-dominated environments. The two primary objectives were: 1) develop a methodology for using multivariate statistical models and imputation to simultaneously map fuel characteristics, species composition, and forest structure as continuous variables across environmentally heterogeneous, multi-ownership landscapes using inventory plot data, remote sensing imagery, and environmental GIS data layers; and 2) apply this methodology to generate vegetation and fuel maps for pilot landscapes located in three distinctive ecoregion divisions in the western US.

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Comments/suggestions?Last updated: 12/15/2005
FIREHouse is a collaboration between the Fire and Environmental Research Applications Team (FERA) of the USDA Forest Service Pacific Northwest Research Station, Pacific Wildland Fire Sciences Laboratory; the University of Washington; the National Park Service; the Bureau of Land Management – Alaska Fire Service; the US Fish and Wildlife Service; and the National Biological Information Infrastructure (NBII). The NBII is a broad, collaborative program that provides increased access to data and information on the nation’s biological resources. Funding for FIREHouse has been provided by the Joint Fire Science Program (JFSP) and NBII. FIREHouse is coordinating efforts with the Fire Research and Management Exchange System (FRAMES) project team. Content on FIREHouse will provide substantial contributions to the Northwest Fire Science Portal and the Alaska Fire Science Portal.
 
Joint Fire Science Program (JFSP) Fire and Environmental Research Applications Team, Pacific Wildland Fire Sciences Laboratory, PNW Research Station, USDA Forest Service, Seattle, WA USDA Forest Service Fire Research and Management Exchange System (FRAMES)    National Biological Information Infrastructure
College of Forest Resources, University of Washington, Seattle, WA
National Park Service Alaska Fire Service US Fish & Wildlife Service