Google Research

Next Day Wildfire Spread: A Machine Learning Dataset to Predict Wildfire Spreading From Remote-Sensing Data

  • Fantine Huot
  • Lily Hu
  • Nita Goyal
  • Tharun Pratap Sankar
  • Matthias Ihme
  • Yi-fan Chen
IEEE Transactions on Geoscience and Remote Sensing, vol. 60 (2022), pp. 1-13


Predicting wildfire spread is critical for land management and disaster preparedness. To this end, we present “Next Day Wildfire Spread,” a curated, large-scale, multivariate dataset of historical wildfires aggregating nearly a decade of remote-sensing data across the United States. In contrast to existing fire datasets based on Earth observation satellites, our dataset combines 2-D fire data with multiple explanatory variables (e.g., topography, vegetation, weather, drought index, and population density) aligned over 2-D regions, providing a feature-rich dataset for machine learning. To demonstrate the usefulness of this dataset, we implement a neural network that takes advantage of the spatial information of these data to predict wildfire spread. We compare the performance of the neural network with other machine learning models: logistic regression and random forest. This dataset can be used as a benchmark for developing wildfire propagation models based on remote-sensing data for a lead time of one day.

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