eForestFire - Himalayan Forest Fire Prediction

- by Dr Abdul Qayum, DCF Chandigarh (then DFO Tawang); Sh R. K. Singh, PCCF; Sh Pradeep Mishra, DCF

Situation

Fire is one among major threats for the world's forests, destroying millions of ha of world's forests every year. Indian forest is very prone to forest fire especially the state of Arunachal Pradesh. The state has rich Himalayan Biodiversity which is at constant threat due occurrence of natural as well as man-made fire.

Response

“eForest Fire – Himalayan Forest Fire Prediction” is an e Governance Initiative which aims to mitigate forest fire incidences in Arunachal Pradesh. It uses geospatial technology to predict and identity forest villages sensitive towards forest fire incidence and involves local people in Forest Fire Management through eForest Fire (an android based user friendly App). The resulting output is dynamically displayed over web portal along with temporal forest fire data on GIS generated Map.

This Predictive Model uses 8-9 factors contributing to GIS Integrated Mapping for Hotspot Identification: Poverty. They are: Climatic-Environment factors (Rain, Temperature), Socio-Economic factors (Population Density, Poverty), Geographical factors (Forest Cover, Forest Type, Elevation, Slope), and FSI Fire Data.

Result

1. Fire incidents can be checked at a very primitive stage which will crucially reduce the damage (in terms of area/extent) by fire.
As per report from NASA, forest fire incidences were 31% less in comparison of period before the start of project.
2. The App involves people in forest fire mitigation in multidimensional approach. That greatly enhances the capacity of Forest Department.
3. Further, it has increased awareness among people about forest mitigation & biodiversity conservation.

Details

Forest Fire App (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jR43OVswRKA): 
User provides input from Report Fire. The inputs are: District/Forest Division, approximate Distance, Direction of Fire point from the user and Name & Mobile Number of user (optional). Once the response is submitted, users have option to call officer via mobile or office landline phone. Otherwise, the user has options to send email, Text Message and WhatsApp Message directly to the Divisional Forest Officer (DFO). In all 3 texting options, the user doesn't need to type anything as there is inbuilt predesigned message format. The App captures the geo-location as well as the corresponding web link of Google Map. Thus, it helps officer to locate fire incident along with its approximate Geo-Coordinates. Moreover, the user can send video or picture of the fire scene via WhatsApp. The App is specifically designed to work in an offline mode keeping in view the issue of internet connectivity in Arunachal Pradesh. The user's data through the App helps refining the Predicative model by modifying the primary hotspots that further helps in accurate prediction of fire incidents across the various geographical locations.

Web Portal (https://www.webgis.co.in/):
Web Portal serves primarily as a management tool to get a bird’s eye view of fire incidences over a period of time. In other words, it helps top management of forest department to keep an eye over forest incidences across the state. When a fire incident is reported through Forest Fire App, the fire point is immediately reflected on web portal. Thus, the portal is dynamically linked with the App and updated on real time basis. The portal provides a number of customized options for map viewing depending upon user choice. Apart from that, the portal has a comprehensive detail about the prediction model and its associated literatures for viewers.

This Project won the National e-Governance Awards 2020 (Jury Award) at the 23rd National Conference on e-Governance, held in Feb 2020. (https://www.nceg.gov.in/sites/default/files/Award_Citation_Booklet_23rd_NCeG.pdf)


Good initiative. 

However, there are several initiative that sends alarms about fire incidences. What are the efforts to prevent fires based on predictive model or fire vulnerability assessment, and also to manage fires once an incidence occurs. The success of these preventive/fire incidence management efforts need to be compiled and shared along with an assessment of potential damage prevented/mitigated. 

If  the present effort has built in the above mentioned, please enlighten.

- by Arun Bansal on 26-02-2020


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