Predicting wildfire burns from big geodata using deep learning

J.R. Bergado*, C. Persello, Karin Reinke, A. Stein

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

27 Citations (Scopus)
360 Downloads (Pure)


Wildfire continues to be a major environmental problem in the world. To help land and fire management agencies manage and mitigate wildfire-related risks, we need to develop tools for mapping those risks. Big geodata—in the form of remotely sensed images, ground-based sensor observations, and topographical datasets—can help us characterize the dynamics of wildfire related events. In this study, we design a deep fully convolutional network, called AllConvNet, to produce daily maps of the probability of a wildfire burn over the next 7 days. We applied it to burns in Victoria, Australia for the period of 2006–2017. Fifteen factors that were extracted from six different datasets and resulted into 29 quantitative features, were selected as input to the network. We compared it with three baseline methods: SegNet, multilayer perceptron, and logistic regression. AllConvNet outperforms the other three baseline methods in four of the six quantitative metrics considered. AllConvNet and SegNet provide smoother and more regularized predicted maps, with SegNet providing greater sensitivity in dificriminating less wildfire-prone locations. Input feature statistical importance was measured for all the networks and compared against logistic regression coefficients. Total precipitation, lightning flash density, and land surface temperature occur to be consistently highly weighted by all models while terrain aspect components, wind direction components, certain land cover classes (such as crop field and woodland), and distance from power lines are ranked on the lower end. We conclude that wild-fire burn prediction methods based on deep learning present quantitative and qualitative gains.

Original languageEnglish
Article number105276
Number of pages12
JournalSafety science
Early online date20 Apr 2021
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2021


  • Big geodata
  • Convolutional networks
  • Deep learning
  • Input statistical importance
  • Wildfire burn prediction
  • UT-Hybrid-D


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