Assessing the performance of MODIS and VIIRS active fire products in the monitoring of wildfires: a case study in Turkey

Coşkuner K. A.

IFOREST-BIOGEOSCIENCES AND FORESTRY, vol.15, pp.85-94, 2022 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 15
  • Publication Date: 2022
  • Doi Number: 10.3832/ifor3754-015
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded (SCI-EXPANDED), Scopus, Academic Search Premier, CAB Abstracts, Veterinary Science Database, Directory of Open Access Journals
  • Page Numbers: pp.85-94
  • Keywords: Wildfires, Fire Monitoring, Land Cover, MODIS, VIIRS, Remote Sensing, ALGORITHM, RISK, LANDSCAPES
  • Karadeniz Technical University Affiliated: Yes


MODIS and VIIRS fire products have been widely used to detect and monitor fire activity at a global scale, as they provide highly relevant information on fire events, on their spatial and seasonal trends. Although these products have some limitations in detecting fires in forested areas due to closed canopy and smoke, they have been widely used to monitor and assess forest fires in many scientific studies. This study analyzes the performance of MODIS (MCDI4ML) and VIIRS S-NPP (VNPI4IMG) active fire/hotspot products in fire detection in five different land cover types (closed and open forests, shrublands, herbaceous vegetation and croplands) and compares the results to the ground-based fire database from 2015 to end of the 2019 in Turkey. Detected fires with a confidence value above 30% (nominal and high confidence) were used in the study. The land cover was assessed using the European Space Agency (ESA) Copernicus Global Land Service (CGLS) Dynamic Land Cover Layers at 100 m resolution in the study area. The performance assessment of two fire/hotspot products were conducted in three fire size classes, namely: fire size <1 ha, 1 to 10 ha, and >10 ha in five different land cover types. The results indicated that the overall accuracy of MODIS ranged from 0.6% to 16.6% and VIIRS S-NPP ranged from 1.3% to 25.6% of all ground-based fires in five different land cover types. The detection rates increased as the fire size increased. This study indicates that some limitations still exist to use MODIS and VIIRS S-NPP active fire/hotspot data in the assessment of wildfires.