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ORIGINAL ARTICLE
Year : 2016  |  Volume : 2  |  Issue : 3  |  Page : 109-115

Forest Fire Risk Zone Mapping Using RS and GIS Techniques: A Study in Achankovil Forest Division, Kerala, India


1 Geomatics Division, GeoVin Solutions Pvt. Ltd., Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala, India
2 Faculty of Hydrotechnical Engineering, Geodesy and Environmental Engineering, Gheorghe Asachi Technical University of Iași, Iași, Romania
3 Department of Geology, Sree Narayana Guru College of Advanced Studies, Varkala, Kerala; Department of Geology, Dr. Palpu College of Arts and Science, Pangode, Kerala, India

Correspondence Address:
Rajendran Sobha Ajin
Geomatics Division, GeoVin Solutions Pvt. Ltd., Thiruvananthapuram - 695 010, Kerala
India
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/2423-7752.199288

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Introduction: Forest fires are one of the major natural hazards that affect the forest ecosystem, damaging the biodiversity, environment, and wildlife. The study area, Achankovil forest division, a part of the Western Ghats, is also prone to forest fire, wherein a total of 15 fires were reported for the past 11 years. Objective: The aim of this study is to demarcate the fire risk zones in Achankovil forest division. Materials and Methods: A method that integrated remote sensing (RS) and geographic information system (GIS) techniques was used to generate the fire risk zone map of the study area. In this mapping process, factors such as land cover type, slope, distance from settlement, distance from road, and elevation were taken into account. The risk zone map of the area of this study was created using the Fire Risk Index (FRI) method. Results: The final map comprised five fire risk zones, viz., very low, low, moderate, high, and very high. The high- and very high-risk zones together constituted 55.75% of the study area. The result of this study was validated with the fire incidence data and showed appreciable reliability. Conclusion: This study, based on geospatial technology, will help the authorities of the forest protection and conservation department to easily identify the fire risk zones for prevention and management of forest fires in the future.


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