MODELING THE VEGETATION EFFECTS AFTER THE DIXIE FIRE USING CHANGE DETECTION
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PublisherThe University of Arizona.
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AbstractOn July 13th, 2021, the Dixie fire was reported after a Pacific Gas and Electric employee who saw flames about the size of 600 square feet within the Feather River Canyon. The California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection, also known as Cal Fire, arrived within 25 minutes and began their efforts to contain the fire. The Feather River Canyon is known for having a scenic byway filled with large trees, steep canyons and high winds. The area had the perfect conditions for a wildfire due to exceptional drought causing moisture levels within the forest to be at historic lows. 963,309 acres were burned until the fire was contained on October 25th, 2021. Small towns and communities were destroyed leaving the area bare and without life. This study seeks to model vegetation responses after land cover changes following the Dixie Fire. The burn scar made on-the-ground measurements difficult and impractical so instead, the imagery from Landsat 8 is used to form the basis of the measurements. The vegetation changes is calculated using the normalized difference vegetation index (NDVI) and the normalized burn ratio (NBR) showing vegetation regeneration. This study can help local and federal agencies determine bare ground exposure which could lead to increased flooding, and to determine where vegetation regeneration has occurred.