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Inforest Research Enhances Forest Fire Damage Assessment with ENVI in Greece

This week I am pleased to feature the work of Exelis partner Inforest Research who, as part of an outreach initiative, aim to provide free to access forest fire burn assessments to assist efforts of local agencies, NGOs and environmental groups.

James Slater

In Greece, the forest fire season starts the first of  May each year and ends October 31. During this period which coincides with the tourist season, the civil protection mechanism and fire services are in a high alert status and operate under a well-planned scheme. However, local administration authorities and municipalities do not yet provide access to mapped assessments for burned areas immediately after or during the occurrence of a wildfire event and instead rely on central government agencies and institutions through what can be a time-consuming bureaucratic and fiscal process.

For the last three years as part of Inforest’s CSR initiative and bundled with an environmental remote sensing outreach initiative for local government, Inforest Research has made efforts to extend their knowledge and experience in the application of remote sensing technologies to deliver rapid forest fire assessment damage maps. By relying on free remote sensing data sources (MODIS and more recently Landsat 8 OLI datasets) in combination with semi-automatic processing in ENVI, the resulting map products for burned areas and major fires occurrences are then made freely available for institutions to use.

   

Chios & Rhodes Island Analysis

From these assessment maps, Inforest Research additionally produces newsletters distributed directly to local authorities and makes available the methodology to enable institutions and users to repeat and implement the process. Newsletters, written in Greek are available to download, while a video explaining the concept and methodology can be viewed on Inforest’s YouTube Channel. Beneficiaries of this work include not only local government but also conservation NGO’s such as WWF Greece

   

Examples of the Inforest Research Forest Fire Damage Assessment newsletters for events in 2013 and 2014.

Inforest Research hope these efforts will help to improve the understanding of and response to the impact of forest fire events whilst improving local agency capabilities to conduct this analysis in house through sharing of methodologies, implementation and outcomes.

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