Forest Fire Early Warning System on the Spotlight of Havana Forum

Forest Fire Early Warning System on the Spotlight of Havana Forum

18 June 2008

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HAVANA, Cuba, Jun 18 (acn) A satellite-based early warning system to detect fires in Cuban forests is one of the topics on the agenda of the international conference Tropico 2008, underway at Havana’s Conventions Center.

In statements to ACN, the specialist of the Meteorology Institute (INSMET) Eva Mejias, who is participating in the forum along some 300 experts from 12 countries, said the system covers all green areas of the country and allows early detection of the fire.

Wildfires are detected by means of digital image processing and are visualized in situ, Mejias explained. Later experts evaluate conditions and ways to extinguish the fires.

The system is the result of scientific cooperation between Cuba’s INSMET and Brazil’s National Institute of Spatial Research. It also provides complementary information, which is transmitted on real time to interactive maps.

This method has already been applied during five wildfire seasons in plantations, pastureland, and forests. At some point, there have been 300 fire warnings in just one day, the expert explained.

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