Forestwatch® Wildfire Smoke Detection System: Lessons Learned From Its Two-year Operational Trial
Free (open access)
131 - 141
M. Lalkovič & J. Pajtíková
In 2008 the wildfire smoke detection system Forestwatch® was introduced to Slovakia. The operational trial was set up at the State Forest Enterprise Kriváň and covered about 60,000 ha of mostly forested area. The trial benefited from the transfer of know-how from abroad. In 2008-2009, the trial focused on the system implementation and testing its feasibility in Slovak conditions. The trial results have fully confirmed its suitability for wider use in Slovak forests. Keywords: fire monitoring, forests vulnerable to fire, wildfires. 1 Introduction The Slovak republic is one of the most forested countries of Europe. Forests cover almost 41% of the country’s area, which equals 1,934,000 ha. The proportion of coniferous and broadleaved species is 40.3% and 59.7%, respectively. Every year fire damages extensive areas of forest stands. In Slovakia, fire prevention is currently performed by a combination of ground patrols of foresters and aerial monitoring, while the patrols are realised mainly during the weekends and holidays. Both methods are quite efficient, but rather limited in scope, particularly from the financial side. Due to the increasing topicality of this issue, it is important to search for and to apply alternative techniques of forest fire monitoring. The aim is to shorten the response time between fire occurrence and the start of its suppression while accounting for economic efficiency. One alternative possibility is to apply a fixed camera fire monitoring system.
fire monitoring, forests vulnerable to fire, wildfires