Detection of forestfires-progression and assessment

11 November 2007

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Forest fireshave attracted global attention because of  s their ecological and socialsignificance.  In India, a combination of factors such as the large areasof dry deciduous forest, prevalent land management practices and dependence of alarge population on forest resources render about half of India’s forestsprone to annual fires.  Besides the loss of precious flora and fauna,forest fires affect regeneration, soil moisture regime, nutrient balance, andrender trees prone to insect and fungal attack.

 Advancesin satellite remote sensing have enhance the ability  to provideinformation for near real time detection of forest fires, fire progression,burnt area assessment and inputs from ecological damage  assessment. In this context, the Indian Forest Fire Response and Assessment System (INFFRAS)has been established under the   Decision Support Center, (DSC), underDisaster Manage Support Programme, to facilitate forest fire management. INFFRASintegrates multi sensor satellite data with Geo Informatics System (GIS) databases to address forest fire management relevant to pre, during and post firescenarios. 

Detection ofday time forest fires

Short-waveinfra red (SWIR) and thermal IR data based temperature anomalies are used forthe detection of active fire locations.  The MODIS Global Fire DetectionAlgorithm was implemented and modified to reduce false alarms over India Regionand Fire Detection restricted to forest area.

Detection ofnight time forest fire

OperationalLine Scan System  (OLS) has the capability of light intensification througha photo-multiplier tube enabling the observations of faint sources of visible-near emissions present during night.  By analyzing a time series ofBMSP-OLS images, it is possible to define a reference set of stable lights. Fires are identified as lights detected on the land surface outside thereference set of stable lights.  Forest mask is used to restrict fireoutputs within forested areas.

IndianForest Fire Response and Assessment System (INFFRAS)

INFFRAS websiteis developed in open source environment with the following capabilities:

·       Daily   fire alert (day and night time) with location information,burnt area assessment, users feedback etc. ; inputs on fire proneness mapping,ecological damage assessment and mitigation planning.

·       GIS functionalities like  zoom to desired skill,zooming panning, querying, identify and search; on fly map output generation,map coordinate display, 7 days animation of fire locations and  sendingthe output through e-mail etc.

Daily day timefire alert is being updated within 3-4 hours of satellite pass and night timefire location is updated  by  1030 IST, the next day in INFFRAS. 

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