Modeling Fire Risk: The Upper Caroni Watershed Case

A. Magdiel, M. Dávila, H. Hoeger, A. Ramos, E. Rivas, and F. Zerpa (Venezuela)


Fire risk modeling, Geographic Information Systems(GIS), Caroní watershed.


This paper describes a system that models the risk of vegetation fires in the upper watershed of the Caroní river in Venezuela. The system is comprised of four different indexes; the index of Extremadura[1], the Cartographic index of Caroní [2], the index of Monte Alegre [3] and the Canadian Weather Index [4]. The cartographic index of Caroní was specially developed for the area. The remaining indexes were adapted to the conditions of the study area or expanded to give them a spatial expression. The Apok system was implemented as a menu and a tool bar within the ArcView Geographic Information System. The system allows calculation of the indexes for a given date or range of dates. Once an index is calculated, it can be analyzed in combination with other cartographic and meteorological information and with the historic data on number of fires and area affected by them. This allows its use as a decision support tool to answer several important questions faced by firefighters managers in their work.

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