Forest Fire Management Systems And Term Paper

Excerpt from Term Paper :

It was then important to see the degree at which technology and training played a role in combating each fire.

1.2.4.Rationale of the Study

What is that can be gained from this study? The reasoning behind such a study is born out of a need to provide better training for fire fighters so that fire management systems will improve and reduce the amount of loss due to the fire. By studying such a topic, one can gain the knowledge of how to better train fire fighters and how to make his or her job safer in the process. This in turn, results in reduced losses due to the fire. This also results in higher service ratings for the fire department and an increase in morale for the community.

1.3.Definition of Terms


The Underlying Causes of Fire.

It has already become a general knowledge that the majority of forest and land fire incidents in the tropics are human-caused fires. Yet the underlying causes of fire could be broken down into several factors as follows:

Community Attitude towards Fire

The local community has long practiced the fire-used land preparation for agricultural purposes as it provides cheap and easy management tool as well as increases soil fertility. The application of this system has still continued with an increasing rate due to increasing community's dependency on land for their livelihood. In addition, this situation has been exacerbated, as community's awareness on the adverse impacts of fire to the global environment is still low.

Nature Condition and Properties

The forest management shortcomings over the last three decades have resulted in a significant degradation on the structure and composition of the majority of the natural tropical forests in Indonesia. This has led to forests becoming more flammable as opposed to their original condition. The presence of deep and large-scale peat layers coupled with coal seams underneath the forest floor have caused suppression measures becoming more difficult when a fire occurs in such a forest In addition, most of the burned forests are located in the remote areas with low accessibility hence fire suppression activities are more difficult. Last but not the least the present weather pattern is unpredictable and long periods of dry, extreme weather are more likely to happen as a result of the changing global climates.

Absence of Leading Agency

Presently several governmental agencies are involved in forest and land fire control measures as a consequence of their function and responsibility. These agencies include Ministry of Forestry, Ministry of Environment, Ministry of Agriculture, National Coordination Board for Disasters and Refugees Management, Provincial Government, District Government and so forth. Although there is co-operation among the involved agencies this co-operation is confined to a coordination forum and is usually not applicable for a field operation. In addition, these agencies tend to implement their own policies and programs ignoring the linkages to the other relevant agencies. In the mean time an effective and efficient fire management control requires a clear single line of command right from the central level to the operational level in the field. Therefore establishing a leading agency along with supporting agencies that clearly defines who is doing what constitutes a prerequisite in managing forest and land fire.

Lack of Control and Enforcement

Although the basic acts and regulations for forest and land fire are already in place limited socialization has resulted in a lack of implementation control by both respective government agencies and community. Furthermore, relatively low understanding coupled with a weak commitment of the legal personnel in enforcing the existing laws and regulations have caused inconsistent and ineffective implementation. In addition sanctions and penalties imposed to those violating the regulations have not yet engendered deterrent effects.

Fire Management System

Fire management means all the activities associated with the management of fire prone land values, including the use of fire to meet land management objectives.

Prescribed Burning

Prescribed burning means the controlled application of fire to a determined area under specified environmental conditions and at the time and intensity needed to meet management objectives.


Wildfire means any unplanned vegetation fire.

Fire Regime

Fire regime means the season, intensity, patchiness and frequency of fire in a given over a period of time.

Global Positioning System (GPS) and Global Information System (GIS)

GIS is an organized collection of computer hardware, software, geographic data, and personnel designed to efficiently capture, store, update, manipulate, analyze and display all forms of geographically...
...GIS technology enables forest professionals and concerned citizens to view, in map overlays, the complex variables of forest ecosystems.

1.4.Brief Overview of the Study and Related Literature

In this review of previous studies and related literature, information is presented in support of and in anticipation of the methodology and the analysis of this study. In order to constrain the literature review to a manageable yet representative account of the development of the concepts and constructs employed in this study, the focus was on studies within the framework of forest fire management system contrasted with urban fire department team management and technologies and training that aid in fire prevention and fire fighting. Within those studies cited however, are many more and far-reaching references across the spectrum related to the subject research. A number of the referenced works included here are themselves fairly exhaustive and comprehensive reviews. Of these, a wide range of research studies on fire, the ramifications of fire to both the environments of forest and city, fire strategy, management systems, fire fighting techniques and training of fire fighters for either specialty have been explored; particularly those related to forest and urban settings, results and success stories. Chapter 2 of this dissertation outlines in much more detail the sources and the assessment of these literatures.

1.5.Highlights of Methodology

This research was conducted to study fire, its destruction in both forest and urban settings but also how technology and training make fighting the fire more efficient and less destructive. This research focused on four particular countries where fires in both settings happen regularly to the point where government agencies have invested both time and money into strengthening fire education, awareness and prevention. By exploring the differences between forest fire fighting and urban fire departments and looked at the results of both such environments to see which was more successful when new technologies were available. These studies were mainly conducted in the United States, Canada, Switzerland and Indonesia of differing populations within the forest and urban settings. A qualitative descriptive methodology was used to evaluate and to measure each performance and success rate. This study offered such data to act as a basis of analysis when looking at these methods as they pertain to fire destruction across the globe. The study allows for not only this foundation of western statistics but also a focus on Asian data. These collections of data were used for research purposes only. The qualitative descriptive methodology was used to evaluate the data, which, was collected during this study. The detailed study plan is further explained in Chapter 3 of this dissertation.

1.6.Limitations of Study few limitations were encountered during the implementation of this study; the following are the preliminary main issues:


Resources were lacking to conduct a complete survey of western fire fighters participating in fire management system programs in both forest and urban setting where new technologies were introduced recently to augment traditional methods. Resources were lacking to conduct a complete survey of Indonesian fire fighters within these management systems for both forest and urban settings where new technologies were introduced recently to augment traditional methods. Lastly resources were lacking to conduct a complete survey of both western and Asian fire fighters who were trained adequately in new technologies such as GPS and early warning systems. Data collection was contingent on careful study of the international studies focusing on the four countries discussed. Data was found pertaining to the two settings of fire fighting with a focus on new technologies as a means of better management. Information and data gathering was conducted in the best way possible without actual physical surveying of fire fighters in the four countries discussed.

1.7.Research Expectations

The focus of this dissertation study is to assess the success rates of technologies in reducing fire and fire destruction when a fire takes place in the forest or urban setting. For example, the relationship between fire fighters and technology was studied to see if the technology at all varied or changed the response time, time to put the fire out and destructiveness of the fire. The aim of the research is to try to obtain a better understanding relative to how these styles could improve the management success rates of fire fighting and overall prevention of the fire.

Surveys from various institutions were studied to get a better picture as to the extent of technology involvement needed for success. However with these surveys and other data documents came the challenges born out of fire fighting being a…

Sources Used in Documents:


Allan, C. (2003). A Ponderosa Natural Area Reveals its Secrets. USGS. Retrieved July 11, 2005 from the World Web Wide:

Anderson, H.E. (1983). Predicting Wind-Driven Wild Land Fire Size and Shape. Research Paper INT-305. Ogden, UT: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Intermountain Forest and Range Experiment Station, pp. 1-26.

Beer, T. (1990). The Australian National Bushfire Model Project. Mathematical and Computer Modeling, 13, 12, 49-56.

Calabri, G. (1982). Recent evolution and prospects for the Mediterranean region, Forest Fire prevention and control. Proceedings of an International seminar.

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