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Integrated Use of AHP and GIS Techniques for Generating Forest Fire Risk Map in Karacabey Flooded Forest
1  Bursa Technical University


The flooded forests are very important ecosystems that are rich in terms of diverse flora and fauna. However, they are mostly degraded in many parts of the world and remaining fragmented areas are in critical condition. Forest fires are one of the major environmental disasters that cause serious damages on forest ecosystem and negatively affect sustainability of forest resources. In order to minimize the potential effects of fires on forest ecosystems, forest fire risk maps should be generated and thereby necessary precaution measures can be taken in these areas according to fire risk levels. Geographical Information System (GIS) techniques integrated with Multi-Criteria Decision Analysis (MCDA) method can be effectively used to develop risk maps for natural hazards such as forest fires, winter storms, floods, etc. In this study, GIS techniques integrated with AHP (Analytic Hierarchy Process) method was used to generate forest fire risk map. The study was implemented in the Karacabey Flooded Forest located in the city of Bursa in Turkey. In the solution process, the forest fire risk was evaluated considering two major risk factors including stand structures (tree species, crown closure, and tree stage) and topographic factors (slope and aspect). In this study, vegetation factor under climate control was considered instead of directly using data of climatic elements such as temperature and humidity. The results indicated that 25.28% of the forest area was of high fire risk, while 53.17% and 21.55% was of medium and low fire risk, respectively. It was found that the most effective criterion was tree species, followed by tree stages. The aspect had the least effective criterion on forest fire risk. It was revealed that GIS techniques integrated with MCDA methods can be used effectively to estimate forest fire risk zones.

Keywords: Forest fires; Risk maps; GIS; MCDA; AHP