Making a fire history report map

It can be useful to display all of these maps together to assess how you are going with your fire management and to inform planned burns. In this exercise, we will do this for one property (Dambi). Skip to video.

  1. Add a ‘hill-shading’ layer to our map to help us see the fire information in the context of the terrain.
  2. Cutting the fire maps to just our property of interest.
  3. Placing them in a map layout
  4. Adding legends and other information to the map layout

Why fire history maps are important:

We are looking at these three fire history maps:

  • Fire frequency shows areas that are vulnerable to burning. Areas with a high fire frequency will have two characteristics that enable them to burn. the first is that they will be regions that support the growth of enough grass fuel to burn year in consecutive years. They will also be areas that are likely to have an ignition, either from a road or via lightning or just carry fires well with an incendiary drop.
  • Late dry season fire frequency is important as it highlights areas that might be getting to many hot fires. It’s important to reduce the amount of these hot fires.
  • Time since last burnt gives as an indication of those areas that may have accumulated a lot of fuel.

When thinking about the fire history it is good to also think about the type of country that is burning and how they respond to fire in different ways. For example the way that fire behaves and fuel accumulates will be different on lowland plans compared to the top of rugged escarpment country.

Hill Shading

Hill shading is a layer that shows how the country looks with shading as if from sunlight. It highlights terrain and is very usefull for getting a better idea of the type of country we are looking at in relation to fire information layers. This layer is produced from an elevation ratser layer and can be found in the elevation folder:

When you open it it will look like this:

Open the symbology window by double clicking on the Hillshade layer and change the “Color Gradient” to “White to Black”

Then in the Transparency properties change the Global Opacity to around 40%.

Then click apply. With transparency set you can see the terrain along with the fire history map.

If you change the order of layers in the layer window you can change the display. For example, if you right-click on the Protected Areas layer and select “move to top” you will the property boundaries.

  • You can also move the order of layers by dragging them around.
  • Layer display can also be changes by turning them on and off using the tick boxes.
  • Look at all the layers with the terrain layer. How does terrain interact with the fire history information?

Cutting the fire information (raster) data.

To make a focused map we will cut our fire information data to just our property of interest.

  1. First, make sure that the Protected area layer is selected in the layer window
  2. use the pointer tool
  3. to select Dambi.

Use the ‘Clip Raster by Mask’ Layer in the Ratser menu:

For the input layer select one of your raster layers. For the Mask layer use the Protected Areas layer. Finally, make sure you have “Selected Features Only” ticked and click “Run“.

You should end up with a cut layer like this.

We need to rename our new layer to we know what it means.

  1. Double click on the new masked layer
  2. Open the source properties
  3. Change the layer to something that describes actually what it is
  4. Click OK

Now remove the layer that the new layer was cut from. This is important if you do not remove layers that you are working with as you go it gets very confusing.

Do the same thing for the three fire history layers. Set your layers up so you have good looking map display as shown below:

Create a map layout.

Open a new print layout.

Name the new print layout.

In the new print layout add your first map.

After you have placed your map find and select the lock layers tick box in the Items properties tab on to the right of the map. this will make sure the map will not change when we add new maps.

Now add a legend for this map.

This legend is not very good. It needs editing to include only the information about the fire history.

Delete all the legend items except the one for the map you are displaying

Also delete all the legend items for which there is no data. This is all of the clack legend entries. Use the shif key to select multiple items.

Double click on the legend name and rename it to something a bi more descriptive.

Add a scale bar.

Add as title.

Add some logos.

You should now have a beautiful fire history map!

It is a pretty good idea to save all of the new layers and the map project you have created.

Video summary.