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Forest firelines being digitised  

Referring to the existing data of firelines and using the fire-prone areas data of previous years, a list of vulnerable points is being prepared.  

Published: 12th January 2020 05:23 AM  |   Last Updated: 12th January 2020 05:23 AM   |  A+A-

Express News Service

BENGALURU: The Karnataka Forest Department is leaving no stone unturned to ensure that there are no untoward fire incidents. This year, the department is not just creating firelines, but is also digitising them.
They are also deploying drones in buffer zones, eco-sensitive zones and places where there are movements like that of locals, cattle grazers and tourists, so that a close watch can be kept to immediately nab the culprits when any untoward incident is sighted.

The department is taking the help of National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), National Remote Sensing Agency (Hyderabad), Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO), Karnataka State Natural Disaster Monitoring Centre (KSNDMC) and Fire Safety and Research Institute- Deharadun, to digitise the data.

Referring to the existing data of firelines and using the fire-prone areas data of previous years, a list of vulnerable points is being prepared.  

Besides, range forest officers of each forest patch of Karnataka have been asked to prepare a diary of the firelines, with proper GPS coordinates and share the ground report of the vulnerable points with the specially created Forest Fire Cell. The department has invested Rs 2 crore to set up the cell, this year.
Sanjai Mohan, Principal Chief Conservator of Forests, Wildlife, told The New Sunday Express that after the department entered into an agreement with ISRO, digitising the fire lines and creating a ready reckoner of the vulnerable points is being done. 

“This will not only help get immediate information on forest fire, but also know whether the fireline is created and maintained. It will also make the officers accountable. By deploying drones, people will be watched and it will also caution them that their activities are under supervision,” Sanjai Mohan, Principal Chief Conservator of Forests, Wildlife said.

Forest department started creating the fire lines from January 1 and is confident that it will be completed at the earliest. KSNDMC will then start the exercise of giving real time data of temperatures, wind velocity and direction and the local convection. This will help the department deploy additional staff according to the forecast along with the already prepared reckoner of fire vulnerable points to specific locations.
Mohan said that this drill is being done for the first time to ensure that there are no untoward forest fire cases and that information procured from the satellites of NASA and ISRO is put to use on ground to control forest fire at the earliest. Normally the department would get information 45 minutes after a forest patch catches fire and it would take another 30 minutes for the staff to reach the spot. With this exercise, data will be assessed and staff deployed within 15 minutes.



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