Theses and Dissertations

Issuing Body

Mississippi State University


Cooke III, William H.

Committee Member

Mishra, Deepak R.

Committee Member

Rodgers III, John C.

Date of Degree


Document Type

Graduate Thesis - Open Access



Degree Name

Master of Science (M.S.)


College of Arts and Sciences


Department of Geosciences


Remotely sensed MODIS fire detections were used to examine wildfire variability from 2003-2011 in southeast Louisiana, and to determine if the Deepwater Horizon oil spill and hurricanes may have impacted fire frequency and intensity. Despite low wildfire detection rates, around 60% for fires at least 1 km2 or greater, the MODIS fire product provided a consistent and reliable source of wildfire data. As a result of Hurricane Katrina, wildfire detection frequencies doubled their average numbers during the fall of 2005 in inland areas and during the spring of 2006 in inland and coastal marsh areas. Strangely enough, the oil spill may have contributed to lower fire frequencies in the summer of 2010 and spring of 2011 inland. Neither hurricane Katrina nor the oil spill were found to have an effect on fire intensity, and the spatial distribution of wildfires remained relatively constant over the study area after both disasters.