[HOT] Valparaíso, Chile Fires Response / Respuesta a Fuegos en Valparaíso, Chile

Andrew Buck andrew.r.buck at gmail.com
Wed Apr 16 05:44:59 UTC 2014

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Hey everyone,

I spoke for a couple hours on skype screenshare with Álvaro Monares
who is local to Chile and we made some progress on situational
awareness for this response.  Most importantly, there is a satelite
image posted online taken the 13th of April (right while the fire was
burning but before it got to the populated areas).  Although the
license of the image is not suitable for tracing in OSM I did load it
up in QGIS and traced 3 very rough polygons around where the fire area
burned as of the 13th.

I then uploaded these polygons to a umap layer that we can use to plan
out where to focus our mapping efforts.  The map below shows the
definite burned areas in red and the areas we are pretty sure burned
on the 14th in yellow (click on the areas for more details).  You can
also see the blue dotted lines showing the two task manager jobs
already created for this job (click on the blue dotted lines for links
to these jobs).

Here is the link to the umap:


We also downloaded several Landsat 8 images to try to map landuse and
to see what could be seen.  There is a mostly cloud free image (at
least for the area we are interested in) from about a week before the
fire but that still just shows the forest and whatnot the same as we
see in the Bing imagery.  More interesting is a LandSat 8 image taken
the 15th, however there is a cloud mass covering exactly the area we
are interested in for that image.  The next Landsat pass will be on
April 22nd so we will have to wait a few days before that imagery
becomes available.  We should monitor this situation and process this
image as soon as it becomes available.

We also checked through the MODIS daily fire map data and landuse
data, however this is too low resolution to be of use (500 meters per

Finally, we downloaded the ASTER elevation data for the area.  Since
the areas that burned are very hilly terrain with lots of steep
canyons and valleys, there will now be a very high risk of flash
flooding, soil erosion, and landslides in the area where the fire
burned.  I used the ASTER elevation file to produce a slope map and
then downloaded the OSM building data and for each building I had QGIS
calculate the slope of the ground that the building sits on.  This
will allow us to see where there are buildings in areas at risk for
landslides and we can do a similar analysis to see where buildings
might be at risk of flash flooding.  These high risk areas should
receive special attention in the mapping process to help recovery
teams work safely in the affected areas.

Good work to everyone so far on the tracing.  The first job is almost
completely done and the second was at about 60% I think.  I am going
to bed for the night, but I will take another look at the QGIS
analysis tomorrow to see what I can put together for a risk assessment.

- -AndrewBuck
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