How to map potential forest fires

Forest fires are occurring in many countries. Starting from the largest rainforest in the Amazon world, forests in Indonesian Borneo, Sierra Nation forest in the United States, and so on. The causes of these fires vary, due to hot temperatures, land-use change.

Forests serve to maintain the climate of this earth. Without forests, the temperature during the day can be very high and the temperature at night can be very low. Incidents like this are common in the desert. Not only that, but forests are also home to various animals and plants. Losing forests means that the earth has lost biodiversity.

There is a need for mapping of potential forest fires so that tighter supervision can be carried out. This mapping is based on various complex parameters such as topography, climate, environment, and forest type.

forest fires
 How to map potential forest fires

Selection of parameters

The common parameter that is often used in topographical fields is a slope. Meanwhile, the climate parameters need to include important criteria such as wind, temperature, and humidity. Apart from that, there are the effects of infrastructure conditions such as buildings around forests, roads, rivers, and power lines. The following is a detailed parameter written by Fatih Sari from Turkey (2020).


  • Aspect
  • Slope
  • Elevation
  • CTI
  • Wetness


  • Precipitation
  • Temperature
  • Wind speed
  • Humidity


  • Power line
  • Roads
  • Settlements
  • Buildings
  • Land Use
  • River


  • Forest Type
  • Forest Density


Aspects of solar radiation that affect the humidity and temperature of the forest. Slope affects the spread of fire during forest fires. Elevation determines the wind direction which in turn determines the direction of the spread of the fire. CTI is the accumulation of water inland.


The high temperature causes the ingredients to dry quickly so that they have the potential to burn. Rainfall is very useful for regulating the humidity, thereby reducing the potential for forest fires.


This environmental aspect relates to environmental conditions around the forest. Power line related to the possibility of a short circuit. Small activity roads such as throwing cigarette butts or matches. Settlements, Buildings, Land Use also have impacts that increase the potential for forest fires. Only River minimizes the potential for forest fires.

Forest type

This forest type is influenced by the plant species that inhabit the forest. The distance between plants that is getting bigger also affects. About 58% of forest fires occur in the Coniferous forest type. This happens because this type of forest covers 90% of the forest surface. The part of the soil surface that is filled with dry plants also increases the potential for forest fires.

Parameter Rating

Each parameter is assigned a value based on the size of the effect on forest fires. The weight of each criterion is calculated using the Analytical Hierarchy Process (AHP). Values ​​1 to 3 are classified as low potential, values ​​4 to 6 are classified as moderate potential, while 7 to 9 are classified as extreme potential in forest fires.

Forest type, slope and forest density have a high weight in the potential for forest fires. While the existence of rivers, humidity has a lower weight. The following figure is an analysis conducted by Fatih Sari in measuring the potential value of forest fires in Turkey

Classification criteria scale 1-9

Credit to: Fatih Sari via Sciendirect.com

Parameter Verification

The selection of parameters is very important to verify the latest forest fire data. Then the data is analyzed to see the overlap of the parameters mentioned above. This AHP method provides a fairly high correlation. According to research from Fatih Sari, the correlation between AHP and the historical data of forest fires is 88.99%.


Forest is a very important element for this earth. Forest fires are becoming more frequent due to climate change and human activities. Mapping is needed to analyze the potential for forest fires. So that strategic steps can be taken to prevent and deal with forest fires.

Mapping is made by entering parameters such as Topography, Climate, Environment, and forest type. These parameters are weighted based on the size of the potential for forest fires. These parameters are evaluated with the latest forest fire history data to see the overlap of the two. The correlation between AHP and forest fire historical data is 88.99%.



Forest fire susceptibility mapping via multi-criteria decision analysis techniques for Mugla, Turkey: A comparative analysis of VIKOR and TOPSIS by Fatih Sari

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