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Year : 2017  |  Volume : 5  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 18-23

The risk analysis of potential forest fires in a wildlife sanctuary in the western ghats (Southwest Indian Peninsula) using geospatial techniques

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

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

DOI: 10.4103/ijhsdm.ijhsdm_26_16

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Introduction: Forest fires are potential threats to most of the wildlife sanctuaries in the world. Such areas for conservation of precious wildlife in parts of the Western Ghats in India are no exception. The present study area representing the Periyar Tiger Reserve forms a part of the Western Ghats, where during the past decade more than 200 wildfires have been recorded. Objective: The present study is designed to demarcate the fire risk zones applying principles of geospatial techniques. Materials and Methods: The technique integrates Remote Sensing and Geographic Information System. Parameters such as land cover type, surface slope, aspect, proximity to settlements, closeness to roads, and elevation have been considered. A Modified Fire Risk Index method has been used for preparing the risk zone map. Results: The prepared map shows five fire risk zones such as very high, high, moderate, low, and very low. About 27.38% of the study area, according to this study falls within the high and very high risk zones. The final result of the study is validated with the MODIS active fire (hotspot) data, which shows very good reliability. Conclusion: This study based on geospatial technology is very useful to the local authorities for identifying in advance the fire risk zones for prevention and management of forest fires in future.

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