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Practically all forest fire management activities require a good assessment of vegetation cover in the management area in the form of a fuel map. It is widely recognized that the availability of updated and accurate fuel cover maps is one of the limitations for fire prevention plans, fire spread simulation and for recovery plans. ArcFUEL™ is a LIFE+ Project that involves six European Partners with the objective of producing updated fuel maps to be used in forest fire management operations. We intend to produce fuel cover maps based on satellite data and field validation to fulfil the needs of local, regional or national users.

Expected results and achievements are:

1. Digital Wildland & Forest Fuel Maps: National FCM for the countries: Greece, Portugal and two (2) large regions for Spain and Italy. Fuel Models follow the Prometheus, Scott & Burgan and the NFFL catalogues. FCMs will be available via CDROM and the Geoportal, free of charge for the stakeholders involved in the ArcFUEL project (OKXE, Greek Civil Protection etc) and relevant EC Services (e.g. EEA, JRC Ispra). FCMs will be tailored to specific needs of Decision Makers who use “modeling & tools” for FF fighting/safety; thus, a geodatabase for immediate practical usage & applicability, with an INSPIRE/ArcGIS structure (project innovation) of generic configuration & use (i.e., any country).

2. Production Chain Methodology: Production chain for digital FCMs from “readily available” data: EOI and Ancillary data (GIS, ground truth). The production chain lays on Image Processing Techniques & Classification algorithms that have been already applied and validated in past projects: their performance/results is documented in detail and is available in the literature. ArcFUEL tests and evaluates the “chain of production”. Then, it documents the chain workflow and evaluates results for dissemination and further exploitation. The procedure for maintenance and update of the FCM is also considered.

3. Improved FF Management Performance: Advanced FCMs will significantly improve the FF management performance as FCMs are the most significant input for most FF management processes in comparison to other data such as meteo Parameters (wind), Terrain Layout. Improvements will be two fold:

  • FCMs will become available national-wide leaving no areas excluded from the Forest Fire Management umbrella.
  • FCMs will be accurate: resolution up to 30m×30m, highly accurate Fuel Mapping 75-85% leading to more accurate results in FF propagation simulation, and FF Risk Assessment.

4. Geoportal: Geoportal services delivering “fuel maps & meteorology” at a Mediterranean level in six languages: EN, ES, FR, GR, IT, PT. The service will be offered gratis to the participating and contributing public sectors (e.g., ministries, universities) and at nominal fee to the private sector (e.g., consulting companies). 

5. Workshops: Two International ArcFUEL Users Workshops addressed to all types of organizations engaged in fuel maps production technologies (e.g., satellite data providers) and users (e.g., Civil Protection Organizations).

6. Dissemination: A solid dissemination package, that will involve production of dissemination material, geoportal dissemination, participation at workshops and conferences world-wide (Europe, USA, Australia), including the gratis delivery of the geodatabases and technology to the public sector. 

7. Sustainability: The Partners of the ArcFUEL are committed to keep project results updated and available (Public, JRC, National Authorities) up to 2020, and to jointly maintain a GeoPortal at a nominal fee after project closure; the fee aimed to maintaining geoportal costs only.

ArcFUEL app is now available on Google Play for download!
FuelMap is a mobile application developed in context of ArcFuel aiming to support consistent collection of forest vegetation data in the field in order to validate forest fuel maps.The application is useful for recording data of forest fuels in the field and creating a relative data base, which is published in the web.Forest and fire managers create a list of points to be visited in the field. FuelMap app uses this list for downloading respective Google maps tiles and creating respective (empty) records of these plots.Then FuelMap is used initially for driving the forester into a selected plot from the list of predefined survey points and then for filling proper forms with field data concerning the structure of the plot as regards the vegetation form, vegetation type, height, density.The records are automatically geo-referenced and each includes a number of reference photos of the surveyed plot, taken using the camera of the android device where the FuelMap is installed.The user has the possibility of adding to the list extra points defined ad-hoc during the survey.
The app link is: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.fuelmap.android.app
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