We used remotely sensed data from the Landsat-8 and WorldView-2 satellites to estimate vegetation burn severity of the Creek Fire on the San Carlos Apache Reservation, where wildfire occurrences affect the Tribe's crucial livestock and logging industries. Accurate pre- and post-fire canopy maps at high (0.5-meter) resolution were created from World- View-2 data to generate canopy loss maps, and multiple indices from pre- and post-fire Landsat-8 images were used to evaluate vegetation burn severity. Normalized difference vegetation index based vegetation burn severity map had the highest correlation coefficients with canopy loss map from WorldView-2. Two distinct approaches - canopy loss mapping from WorldView-2 and spectral index differencing from Landsat-8 - agreed well with the field-based burn severity estimates and are both effective for vegetation burn severity mapping. Canopy loss maps created with WorldView-2 imagery add to a short list of accurate vegetation burn severity mapping techniques that can help guide effective management of forest resources on the San Carlos Apache Reservation, and the broader fire-prone regions of the Southwest.
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|journal||Photogrammetric Engineering and Remote Sensing|