News Releases - Hatfield Consultants

Nanaimo Lakes wildfire mapped using Hatfield’s Rapid Burned Area Mapping (R-BAM) technology

Aug 10, 2018


A high resolution version of the animation is available here.

Satellite image analysis reveals up-to-date burned area and burn severity information for the Nanaimo Lakes wildfire (V62214). Using satellite infrared images from the Copernicus Sentinel-2 satellites and its Rapid Burned Area Mapping (R-BAM) technology, Hatfield is mapping the progression of several wildfires including the Nanaimo Lakes wildfire that was discovered 13 km southwest of Nanaimo on Sunday, August 5, 2018.

The wildfire hotspot was detected by the thermal sensor onboard the NASA MODIS satellite on Sunday, August 5th 23:05 PT. Subsequently, using its R-BAM technology Hatfield is processing high resolution Sentinel-2 images to accurately monitor and map wildfire development. R-BAM maps show the wildfire grew to a size of 140 hectares by August 7th (12:22 PT) and to a size of 174 hectares by August 9th. The Burn Severity Map from the 9th of August shows a varying level of burn severity for the Nanaimo Lakes wildfire which ranges from low severity (44.9 ha), to medium severity (90.0 ha) and high severity (39.0 ha). The severity levels are not calibrated by onsite field observations and should be interpreted with caution.

Dr. Andy Dean from Hatfield comments that “R-BAM can be used to support wildfire response as well as providing valuable insights for the post-wildfire forest damage assessment. R-BAM automates data processing so that burn severity mapping takes less than one hour from when Hatfield accesses the satellite data.”

Sentinel-2 images are available at 10-20 m spatial resolution every five days. R-BAM also seamlessly integrates the USGS Landsat program data to increase the observation opportunities. Hatfield is currently evaluating the integration of radar data into its R-BAM technology, which would additionally increase the frequency of observations and mapping capability, since radar technology is able to penetrate through cloud and smoke.

R-BAM development was supported by the Canadian Space Agency (CSA) Earth Observation Application Development Program (EOADP).

For more information about development of the R-BAM technology, including use of R-BAM to map wildfires across BC in 2017, please review the R-BAM description.

Alternatively, please contact:

Andy Dean
Senior Geomatics Specialist

Tel.: +1-604-926-3261
Toll-Free: +1-866-926-3261

About Hatfield

Established in 1974 and based in Vancouver, Canada, Hatfield Consultants has built a worldwide reputation in environmental services with over 4,000 successful projects in Asia, Africa, Europe, and the Americas. We have established offices in Canada (British Columbia and Alberta), Indonesia, Laos, and Botswana and business partners in Chile and Thailand.

We help you apply best environmental practices, meet regulatory requirements, and contribute to a sustainable future.