Monitoring (detection) of forest fires
22 January 2020
Protection of forests from fire
Forest fire prevention monitoring
Monitoring of forest fires includes a number of activities to monitor fire hazardous situations in order to prevent or promptly detect the fire focus followed by the measures taken to eliminate it and minimize the damage.
- The inspection of the area from special control towers is an old, time proved method of observation and control. This method does not require technical innovations, but it requires the maintenance of fire towers in working order and the presence of permanent staff.
- Regular guard tour along the land routes reveals the fire in its initial stage. However, in this case there is a need for a large workforce equipped with transport, and the efficiency largely depends on the quality of the roads within the forest area.
- Patrols from the air have no such shortcomings. For the exploration, they use light aircraft and helicopters engaged on regular flights or circling over the territory in case of unfavorable conditions. The only downside is the high costs of a flight hour and the obligatory presence of the sites to take off and land with the possibility of refueling. The involvement of unmanned aerial vehicles seems to be the most promising method but they are still quite expensive.
- The development of satellite networks makes observation of the fire situation from space increasingly common. This is not very expensive and allows specialists to control even impenetrable areas. Unfortunately, the accuracy of this method is not always satisfactory and the influence of weather conditions is too great.
- The detection of the potential fire at its incipient stage with automatic systems to monitor forest fires, such as Forest Fire Detection. Video and heat detectors are placed on the control towers and automatically collect information about the state of the forests. In case of smoke plume or temperature increase, the system alerts the operator and the responsible persons. It requires a minimum of human resources. The monitoring system of forest fires Forest Fire Detection is properly functioning in all weather conditions.
Methods for fire prevention
Proactive protection involves not only monitoring but also preventive measures, including:
- timely removal of fallen trees;
- underbrush thinning;
- creating firebreaks, trenches and earth fills;
- alternation of tree species with different propensity to catch fire;
- workplace and resting area equipment with fire extinguishing agents;
- visual information about the growth of fire hazard and bans on visiting the forests in dry weather.
Let's save the forest for ourselves
The damage caused by forest fires cannot be determined only in terms of money. Fire burns flora and fauna. It destroys not only industrial timber reserves but instances of landscape and scientific value. Surviving birds and animals lose their usual habitat. Ecology suffers, which includes changes in the composition of air and soil, disturbance of water balance. If we want to preserve a healthy climate and the diversity of nature and turn the green wealth of the planet to our advantage, we must remember that it is easier to prevent or to bring under control the forest fire in the very beginning, than to spend years of work to eliminate its consequences.