Community Research and Development Information Service - CORDIS


While concentrated in fire-prone ecosystems and during specific periods of time, vegetation fires occur over a significant fraction of the continental land masses throughout the year. An observation system must possess highly demanding technical characteristics in terms of fire detection, geographical coverage, frequency of data acquisition and data management capabilities. The present paper reviews the current feasibility of putting together a global fire information system using a range of satellite and non-satellite data sources. A stratification approach based upon the geographical probability of occurrence is described; the objective is to adjust the geographical range and period of observation and to fine tune spatial detection algorithms applied to satellite data. The detection of unexpected events is also foreseen in the proposed scenario. Preliminary tests using limited sets of global data have been performed. An expansion of the current capabilities for global monitoring of fire in ecosystems is proposed. It is based upon current and foreseen developments in modelling, information system technologies and satellite observation instruments. The feasibility of developing such a system in the context of global change studies is assessed.

Additional information

Bibliographic Reference: Paper presented: Biomass Burning and Global Change, Williamsburg, Virginia (US), March 13-17, 1995
Availability: Available from (1) as Paper EN 38825 ORA
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