UAV Assisted Spatiotemporal Analysis and Management of Bushfires: A Case Study of the 2020 Victorian Bushfires

Hafiz Suliman Munawar, Fahim Ullah, Sara Imran Khan, QADIR ZAKRIA, Siddra Qayyum*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

24 Citations (Scopus)
24 Downloads (Pure)


Australia is a regular recipient of devastating bushfires that severely impacts its economy, landscape, forests, and wild animals. These bushfires must be managed to save a fortune, wildlife, and vegetation and reduce fatalities and harmful environmental impacts. The current study proposes a holistic model that uses a mixed-method approach of Geographical Information System (GIS), remote sensing, and Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAV)-based bushfire assessment and mitigation. The fire products of Visible Infrared Imager Radiometer Suite (VIIRS) and Moderate-resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) are used for monitoring the burnt areas within the Victorian Region due to the 2020 bushfires. The results show that the aggregate of 1500 m produces the best output for estimating the burnt areas. The identified hotspots are in the eastern belt of the state that progressed north towards New South Wales. The R2 values between 0.91–0.99 indicate the fitness of methods used in the current study. A healthy z-value index between 0.03 to 2.9 shows the statistical significance of the hotspots. Additional analysis of the 2019–20 Victorian bushfires shows a widespread radius of the fires associated with the climate change and Indian Ocean Dipole (IOD) phenomenon. The UAV paths are optimized using five algorithms: greedy, intra route, inter route, tabu, and particle swarm optimization (PSO), where PSO search surpassed all the tested methods in terms of faster run time and lesser costs to manage the bushfires disasters. The average improvement demonstrated by the PSO algorithm over the greedy method is approximately 2% and 1.2% as compared with the intra route. Further, the cost reduction is 1.5% compared with the inter-route scheme and 1.2% compared with the intra route algorithm. The local disaster management authorities can instantly adopt the proposed system to assess the bushfires disasters and instigate an immediate response plan.
Original languageEnglish
Article number40
Pages (from-to)1-34
Number of pages34
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Sept 2021
Externally publishedYes


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