Detection of clusters using spacetime scan statistics

Marj Tonini*, Devis Tuia, Fŕd́ric Ratle

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

19 Citations (Scopus)


This paper aims at detecting spatio-temporal clustering in fire sequences using spacetime scan statistics, a powerful statistical framework for the analysis of point processes. The methodology is applied to active fire detection in the state of Florida (US) identified by MODIS (Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer) during the period 200306. Results of the present study show that statistically significant clusters can be detected and localized in specific areas and periods of the year. Three out of the five most likely clusters detected for the entire frame period are localized in the north of the state, and they cover forest areas; the other two clusters cover a large zone in the south, corresponding to agricultural land and the prairies in the Everglades. In order to analyze if the wildfires recur each year during the same period, the analyses have been performed separately for the 4 years: it emerges that clusters of forest fires are more frequent in hot seasons (spring and summer), while in the southern areas, they are widely present during the whole year. The recognition of overdensities of events and the ability to locate them in space and in time can help in supporting fire management and focussing on prevention measures.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)830-836
Number of pages7
JournalInternational Journal of Wildland Fire
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - 16 Nov 2009
Externally publishedYes


  • Florida
  • MODIS active fires


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