WIT Press

Mapping Forest Fire Risk Zones Based On Historical Fire Data In Mount Olympus, Greece, Using Geographical Information Systems


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WIT Press


E. I. Filippidis & I. D. Mitsopoulos


Mapping forest fire risk zones based on historical fire data in Mount Olympus, Greece, using Geographical Information Systems E. I. Filippidis1 & I. D. Mitsopoulos2 1Department of Forestry, Technological Education Institute of Kavala, Drama branch, Drama, Greece 2Department of Forestry, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Thessaloniki, Greece Abstract Forest fires can be real ecological disasters, regardless of whether they are caused by natural forces or human activities. Forest fire risk zones are locations where a fire is likely to start, and from where it can easily spread to others areas. Anticipation of factors influencing the occurrence of fire and understanding the dynamic behavior of fire are critical aspects of fire risk management. A precise evaluation of forest fire problems and decisions on solution methods can only be satisfactorily made when fire risk zones are available. Historical fire data play a vital role in identifying forest fires and in recording the frequency of fire occurrence. A most significant means for the materialization of the forest fire risk zone maps is the Geographical Information Systems (GIS). Olympus National Park, located in North Greece, was selected as the research area for this study because it faces a forest fire problem. The computer program PYROSTAT, specifically designed for inventory forest fire data, was used for the analysis. Topographic and vegetation information was digitized and GIS MapInfo software was used for further analysis. Five categories of forest fire risk zones ranging from very high to very low were derived automatically. A fire occurrence probability map, a fire sensitivity area map and a suppression planning difficulty map were delineated according to their sensitivity to fire occurrence during the period 1983-1999. The above maps can substantially contribute to integrated forest fire risk management. Key words: forest fires, historical fire data, forest fire risk zones, G.I.S.


forest fires, historical fire data, forest fire risk zones, G.I.S.