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Bosque (Valdivia)

On-line version ISSN 0717-9200

Abstract

TAPIA, Gonzalo  and  CASTILLO, Miguel. System design of wildfire detection towers. Bosque (Valdivia) [online]. 2014, vol.35, n.3, pp.399-412. ISSN 0717-9200.  http://dx.doi.org/10.4067/S0717-92002014000300014.

A location design of wildfire detection towers for Region Metropolitana is proposed. For that objective, critical zones of occurrence are determined based on the historical records of fires and afterwards, a boundary of quadrants --based on the net used by Corporacion Nacional Forestal (CONAF) for the record of fires-- is designed. Later the potential problems of occurrence and spread of wildfires are spatially and temporarily assessed by means of the determination of "protection priorities" in the study area. Subsequently, in order to minimize the quantity of optional locations for the emplacement of towers, the identification of prominent points of relief (geographical landmarks) present in the area is suggested. This is achieved through a topographic index that evaluates the altitude of every point in relation to his neighboring zones. Later, a combinatorial automated model is developed in GIS; this model evaluates the set of possibilities and allows determining the minimal quantity of towers capable of covering at least 75 % of the surface in the first priority of protection to the interior of each quadrant. Results indicate that Region Metropolitana contains 16 critical zones of occurrence. On the other hand, the proposed system needs eight points of observation to cover in average 79.3 % of the surface of the first priority contained by the quadrants and 46.8 % in areas of equal qualification at regional level. The flexibility of the proposed model, of being repeatable in different zones and scales, stands out; allowing besides the incorporation of diverse restrictions before its evaluation.

Keywords : wildfire detection; protection priorities; geographic information systems (GIS).

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