In Canada, fire danger is rated by the Canadian forest fire danger rating system (CFFDRS). One of its components is the fire weather index (FWI) system, which has among others the drought code (DC). DC is used here as a surrogate of dead forest fuel moisture. DC values were computed from weather data acquired between 1993 and 1999 and compared to 10-day composite NOAA-AVHRR images acquired over Canadian northern boreal forests. They were yearly correlated with single compositing period and cumulative NDVI and surface temperature (ST) NOAA-AVHRR data. Correlations with cumulative spectral variables were stronger than with single compositing period variables and the best correlations occurred for the spring compositing periods (R between 0.57 and 0.80). Spring DC models using both single compositing period and cumulative spectral variables were established. Surface temperature-based indices were more often used in the models than NDVI-based indices. The models were stronger for dry or normal years than for wet years. Limitations and possible improvements of the models are discussed. © 2006 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
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