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Workshop: Tackling Climate Change with Machine Learning

Deep Learning for Global Wildfire Forecasting

Ioannis Prapas · Akanksha Ahuja · Spyros Kondylatos · Ilektra Karasante · Lazaro Alonso · Lefki-Ioanna Panagiotou · Charalampos Davalas · Dimitrios Michail · Nuno Carvalhais · IOANNIS PAPOUTSIS


Climate change is expected to aggravate wildfire activity through the exacerbation of fire weather. Improving our capabilities to anticipate wildfires on a global scale is of uttermost importance for mitigating their negative effects.In this work, we use deep learning to forecast the presence of global burned areas on a sub-seasonal scale. We present an open-access global analysis-ready datacube, which contains a variety of variables related to the seasonal and sub-seasonal fire drivers (climate, vegetation, oceanic indices, human-related variables), as well as the historical burned areas and wildfire emissions for 2000-2021. We train a deep learning model, which treats global wildfire forecasting as an image segmentation task and skillfully predicts the presence of burned areas 8, 16, 32 and 64 days ahead of time. Our work paves the way towards improved anticipation of global wildfire patterns.

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