GIS-BASED MULTI-CRITERIA DECISION ANALYSIS FOR FOREST FIRE RISK MAPPING
Keywords: Forest fire risk, Multi-criteria decision, GIS, AHP
Abstract. The forested areas along the coastal zone of the Mediterranean region in Turkey are classified as first-degree fire sensitive areas. Forest fires are major environmental disaster that affects the sustainability of forest ecosystems. Besides, forest fires result in important economic losses and even threaten human lives. Thus, it is critical to determine the forested areas with fire risks and thereby minimize the damages on forest resources by taking necessary precaution measures in these areas. The risk of forest fire can be assessed based on various factors such as forest vegetation structures (tree species, crown closure, tree stage), topographic features (slope and aspect), and climatic parameters (temperature, wind). In this study, GIS-based Multi-Criteria Decision Analysis (MCDA) method was used to generate forest fire risk map. The study was implemented in the forested areas within Yayla Forest Enterprise Chiefs at Dursunbey Forest Enterprise Directorate which is classified as first degree fire sensitive area. In the solution process, "extAhp 2.0" plug-in running Analytic Hierarchy Process (AHP) method in ArcGIS 10.4.1 was used to categorize study area under five fire risk classes: extreme risk, high risk, moderate risk, and low risk. The results indicated that 23.81 % of the area was of extreme risk, while 25.81 % was of high risk. The result indicated 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 are effective tools to quickly estimate forest fire risk at low cost. The integration of these factors into GIS can be very useful to determine forested areas with high fire risk and also to plan forestry management after fire.