In many regions, the frequency and extent of wildfires has increased in recent years, a trend which is expected to continue. Hence, there is a need for effective fire management strategies. Such strategies need to be based on accurate and complete data on vegetation condition and post-fire effects, collected in the field as well as by remote sensing approaches. Unfortunately, wildfire databases are often incomplete in terms of their spatial and temporal coverage, as well as the documentation of fire outcomes. The aim of this study was to devise a methodology to construct a comprehensive national wildfire database. We developed and tested this methodology for Israel, as a case study. The methodology combines data on wildfires in Israel from two sources: remote sensing and field data collected by governmental agencies, representing the period between 2015 and 2022. The resulting database contains 2276 wildfires larger than 10 ha with information (where and when available) on their occurrence date, fire duration, ignition cause, and more. The methodology presented here provides a blueprint for developing large-scale and comprehensive fire databases elsewhere, and facilitates future studies on wildfire risk by providing a robust, unified database of the fire history of Israel from 2015 onwards.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
This work was supported by “Atid Baivrit” and David Amiran Scholarships of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Israel. We thank Israel Nature and Parks Authority, Jewish National Fund, and Israel Fire and Rescue Services for their wildfires data providing.
© 2023 by the authors.