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Workshop on Forest Fire Monitoring & Damage Assessment begins at Forest Survey of India

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By OUR STAFF REPORTER
DEHRADUN, 25 Feb: A two-day workshop on Forest Fire Monitoring and Damage Assessment is being organised by Forest Survey of India on 25 -26 February to sensitise the State Forest Department officers on the recent developments in Forest Fire Monitoring and Damage Assessment technology, especially in monitoring forest fires and creation of an early warning system, as well as post fire damage assessment across the country. The event provides a platform for States to learn about the recent developments in the FSI’s Forest Fire Alert System and also to gather experience from each other and identify best practices across the country.
The workshop is being chaired by Director General, Forest Survey of India, Dr Subhash Ashutosh. Delegates are Dr HS Gupta, PCCF (R&T), Jharkhand; Raj Kishore Singh, APPCF, WP, Karnataka; Madhu Sharma, APCCF Secretary, Karnataka; Avtar Singh, APCCF & JMD, Karnataka; Kanchan Devi, APCCF, Madhya Pradesh; Lalit Kumar Verma, CCF, Uttar Pradesh; M Geethanjali, CF, Punjab; CA Rahman, Lecturer, Assam; Sanjeev Jha, DFO, Madhya Pradesh; Ranphoa Ngowa, Additional Secretary, Arunachal Pradesh; Sanjeev Kumar Singh, DFO, Uttar Pradesh; Kannan MVG, DFO, Uttar Pradesh; and Anu P James, ACF, Meghalaya.
Prakash Lakhchaura, Deputy Director General, FSI, delivered the welcome address. Dr HS Gupta, PCCF (R&T), Jharkhand, spoke about the effects of climate change on forest fires, as also forest fire mitigation. Raj Kishore Singh, APPCF, WP, Karnataka, briefed on the use of VHR data to minimise inventory work. Madhu Sharma, APCCF & Secretary, Human Rights Commission, Karnataka, talked about use of social media for forest fire prevention.
Director General Dr Subhash Ashutosh described the grave condition of forest fires in the country and highlighted the role of geo-spatial technology in monitoring and managing forest fires. He emphasised the need for research and technical advancements with practical applicability at the grassroots level for effective control of forest fires. He requested all state forest officers to share the innovative measures taken at their respective state levels so as to identify best practices.
E Vikram, Deputy Director, FSI presented on the significant improvements in ver. 3.0 of ‘Forest Fires Alert System’ over the previous version and Large Fire Monitoring and Van Agni Portal.
The various features of FAST 3.0 were discussed in detail during the first day of the workshop. FSI has also carried out a study to identify forest fire prone areas across the country, which was presented by Sh. Sushant Sharma, Joint Director (TFI). The other presentations included Near Real Time Forest Fire Monitoring by Tanay Das, FSI; Application of Drone Technology for forest fire Monitoring by Parag Madhukar Dakate, CF, UKFD; Large Fire Monitoring & Van Agni Portal by E Vikram; and Useful features of State Nodal Officer’s Portal by Tapas Biswas, FSI. Besides inputs from Forest Survey of India, additional sessions from NRSC, IIRS, IIT Delhi are also planned in the workshop. A demonstration of modern fire-fighting equipment developed by Forest Research Institute and other departments has also been arranged for the participants.