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Environ Monit Assess. 2012 Mar;184(3):1391-407. doi: 10.1007/s10661-011-2049-z. Epub 2011 Apr 21.

A GIS-based decision support system for determining the shortest and safest route to forest fires: a case study in Mediterranean Region of Turkey.

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Department of Forest Engineering, Faculty of Forestry, Kahramanmaras Sutcu Imam University, 46060 Kahramanmaras, Turkey.


The ability of firefighting vehicles and staff to reach a fire area as quickly as possible is critical in fighting against forest fires. In this study, a Geographical Information System-based decision support system was developed to assist fire managers in determining the fastest and the safest or more reliable access routes from firefighting headquarters to fire areas. The decision support system was tested in the Kahramanmaras Forestry Regional Directoratein the Mediterranean region of Turkey. The study area consisted of forested lands which had been classified according to fire sensitivity. The fire response routing simulations considered firefighting teams located in 20 firefighting headquarter locations. The road network, the locations of the firefighting headquarters, and possible fire locations were mapped for simulation analysis. In alternative application simulations, inaccessible roads which might be closed due to fire or other reasons were indicated in the network analysis so that the optimum route was not only the fastest but also the safest and most reliable path. The selection of which firefighting headquarters to use was evaluated by considering critical response time to potential fire areas based on fire sensitivity levels. Results indicated that new firefighting headquarters should be established in the region in order to provide sufficient firefighting response to all forested lands. In addition, building new fire access roads and increasing the design speed on current roads could also increase firefighting response capabilities within the study area.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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