WIT Press

Measuring The Effectiveness Of Poland’s Fire Monitoring System


Free (open access)





Page Range

153 - 159




297 kb

Paper DOI



WIT Press


J. Piwnicki, B. Ubysz & R. Szczygieł


Between 2002 and 2006, the state-owned forest fire observation system detected approximately 56% of all Polish wildfires. The remaining 44% were detected by civilians. From this we can conclude that when a wildfire is detected, public reaction time is very rapid. The observation system in the National Forests can be regarded as comprehensive, covering the forest areas that have been classified as having a high and medium wildfire risk potential. The average size of all wildfires on Polish National Forests for the period 2002 to 2006 of 0.36 ha demonstrates the effectiveness of the current detection system. Outside of the Polish National Forests the figure jumps to 1.03 ha on average for the same period. This indicates a significant delay in reporting and responding to these fires because they are not protected by an organized wildfire detection system. No wildfire detection system is required in Poland, if the forest area is less than 300 ha (privately-owned forests of this size are the most common in Poland). In addition, there are no effective motivating programs for the private forest landowners that would plan, design and implement a wildfire detection system. The reason for this is simple; these forests do not offer any significant economic value because of their size. It should be added that farmers (who are the predominant owners of private forests) have forests that average approximately 1 ha. However, when you look at the entire area, they make up a larger block that is frequently threatened by wildfire. Unfortunately the local communities do not have the funds to implement a wildfire detection system. Keywords: forest fire detection, wildfire, lookout towers, forest fire danger.


forest fire detection, wildfire, lookout towers, forest fire danger.