Fire scar mapping for disaster response in KwaZulu-Natal South Africa using Landsat 8 imagery
This study assessed the potential of the new Landsat 8 multispectral imagery in rapidly mapping fire scars to aid disaster management response teams in emergency efforts. Maximum likelihood and iso cluster algorithms where used to classify burnt and unburnt areas in KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa. The Landsat 8 sensor successfully classified burnt and unburnt areas with overall accuracies ranging from 80% to 93.33% on independent test datasets. Farms and communities affected by the wildfires were overlaid with the classified maps in order to determine the extent of each farm burnt. Maps were created for disaster management response teams in order to identify critical farms and communities in need of assistance. The study indicates the operational use of the new Landsat 8 data in fire scar mapping for disaster response. The result is critical for fire scar mapping in South Africa using freely available Landsat 8 multispectral data.