Fuel Break Monitoring with Sentinel-2 Imagery and GEDI Validation

João E. Pereira-Pires, Valentine Aubard, G. Baldassarre, José M. Fonseca, João M. N. Silva, André Mora

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionpeer-review


Mediterranean Europe is strongly affected by wildfires. In Portugal, the Portuguese Institute for Nature Conservation and Forests (ICNF) implemented the national fuel break (FB) network responsible for fire control and suppression. FBs are regions where vegetation is reduced to break up the fuel continuity and create pathways for the firefighting vehicles. The efficiency of this strategy relies on the correct implementation of FBs and on periodic fuel treatments. Multispectral imagery from Sentinel-2 (with high temporal and spatial resolution) facilitates the monitoring of FBs and the implementation of methodologies for their management. In this paper a two stages methodology is proposed for monitoring FBs. The first stage consists in detecting fuel treatments in FBs, to understand if those were correctly executed. This is done through a change detection methodology with resource to an Artificial Neural Network. The second stage monitors the vegetation recovery after a fuel treatment, to aid the scheduling of new treatments, ensuring the efficiency of FBs during the fire season. Both methodologies resort to reflectance bands and spectral indices from Sentinel-2; and timeseries and objects, exploiting the temporal and spatial information. The two stages were tested in different regions across the Portuguese territory, demonstrating their usability for all the national fuel break network. The detection of treatments achieved a relative error lower than 4%, and the vegetation recovery cycle estimated by the second stage match the expectations from ICNF.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationInternet of Things. Technology and Applications
Subtitle of host publication4th IFIP International Cross-Domain Conference, IFIPIoT 2021, Virtual Event, November 4–5, 2021, Revised Selected Papers
EditorsLuís M. Camarinha-Matos, Geert Heijenk, Srinivas Katkoori, Leon Strous
Place of PublicationCham
Number of pages19
ISBN (Electronic)978-3-030-96466-5
ISBN (Print)978-3-030-96465-8
Publication statusPublished - 2022
Event4th IFIP International Cross-Domain Conference on Internet of Things, IFIPIoT 2021 - Virtual, Online
Duration: 4 Nov 20215 Nov 2021

Publication series

NameIFIP Advances in Information and Communication Technology
Volume641 IFIP
ISSN (Print)1868-4238
ISSN (Electronic)1868-422X


Conference4th IFIP International Cross-Domain Conference on Internet of Things, IFIPIoT 2021
CityVirtual, Online


  • Artificial neural network
  • Change detection
  • Fuel breaks
  • Fuel treatments
  • GEDI
  • Remote sensing
  • Sentinel-2
  • Spectral indices
  • Vegetation recovery
  • Wildfires


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