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ŠUMARSKI LIST 5-6/2020 str. 65     <-- 65 -->        PDF

This study examined the visibility capabilities of current fire lookout towers in Köyceğiz FED in which forests are sensitive to fire at the first degree. The results indicated that 77.12% of the forest land was visible from the current lookout towers, however, the rest of the forests (23.88%) were located in non-visible areas that can be defined as blind spots based on the detection capabilities of the towers. According to the general estimation in mountainous diverse terrain, at least 70% of the scanned forest lands must be visible from the fire lookout towers for proper monitoring. One might think that 77.12% visibility rate is satisfactory, but it is vital to monitor most of the forest lands in Köyceğiz since it is located in an ecologically and culturally vibrant region. Therefore, the suitability analysis was conducted to search for appropriate locations for potential new fire lookout towers based on specific factors including distance to roads, elevation, ground slope, and ridgelines. The results revealed that the visible forest lands were increased up to 81.47% by locating new fire lookout towers in the study area. It can be concluded that GIS-based visibility analysis integrated with suitability analysis can provide decision makers with an effective instrument for developing strategies in fire-fighting planning and fire management activities such as fire prevention, wildlife control, and post fire recovery. Our methods provide a spatially-based template for forest land managers that are interested in investigating whether additional observation towers can be advantageous to fire spotting.
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