The Landscape Fire Scars Database: Mapping historical burned area and fire severity in Chile

Alejandro Miranda, Rayén Mentler, Ítalo Moletto-Lobos, Gabriela Alfaro, Leonardo Aliaga, Dana Balbontín, Maximiliano Barraza, Susanne Baumbach, Patricio Calderón, Fernando Cárdenas, Iván Castillo, Gonzalo Contreras, Felipe De La Barra, Mauricio Galleguillos, Mauro E. González, Carlos Hormazábal, Antonio Lara, Ian Mancilla, Francisca Muñoz, Cristian OyarceFrancisca Pantoja, Rocío Ramírez, Vicente Urrutia

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Achieving a local understanding of fire regimes requires high-resolution, systematic and dynamic databases. High-quality information can help to transform evidence into decision-making in the context of rapidly changing landscapes, particularly considering that geographical and temporal patterns of fire regimes and their trends vary locally over time. Global fire scar products at low spatial resolutions are available, but high-resolution wildfire data, especially for developing countries, are still lacking. Taking advantage of the Google Earth Engine (GEE) big-data analysis platform, we developed a flexible workflow to reconstruct individual burned areas and derive fire severity estimates for all reported fires. We tested our approach for historical wildfires in Chile. The result is the Landscape Fire Scars Database, a detailed and dynamic database that reconstructs 8153 fires scars, representing 66.6 % of the country's officially recorded fires between 1985 and 2018. For each fire event, the database contains the following information: (i) the Landsat mosaic of pre- and post-fire images; (ii) the fire scar in binary format; (iii) the remotely sensed estimated fire indexes (the normalized burned ratio, NBR, and the relative delta normalized burn ratio, RdNBR); and two vector files indicating (iv) the fire scar perimeter and (v) the fire scar severity reclassification, respectively. The Landscape Fire Scars Database for Chile and GEE script (JavaScript) are publicly available. The framework developed for the database can be applied anywhere in the world, with the only requirement being its adaptation to local factors such as data availability, fire regimes, land cover or land cover dynamics, vegetation recovery, and cloud cover. The Landscape Fire Scars Database for Chile is publicly available in 10.1594/PANGAEA.941127 (Miranda et al., 2022).

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3599-3613
Number of pages15
JournalEarth System Science Data
Issue number8
StatePublished - 10 Aug 2022
Externally publishedYes


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