Case Studies

Integrating imagery with GIS for controlling wildfires

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Integrating imagery with GIS for controlling wildfires From spring to fall in Ontario, forest fires continually threaten remote communities of the far northern part of Canada's most populated province. By integrating high-resolution 60 cm imagery from Maxar into its Geographic Information System (GIS), firefighters effectively plan fire prevention, determine fire proximity during events, and implement evacuation and emergency response strategies. In terms of total area, Ontario is the second largest province in Canada. Much of the northern part of this province boasts dense boreal forests that unfortunately are subject to high winds and thunderstorm-induced lightening strikes during the summer. Preventing and containing fires within such a large, remote territory with limited road access is difficult. Without accurate maps, it is even more challenging. The Aviation and Forest Fire Management (AFFM) had vector maps with points indicating important assets. However, the point information was not current, reliable, or complete. This le forest firefighters unable to confidently protect man-made structures such as houses, lodges, and schools in those remote communities. Valuable natural resources such as timber were mapped only in vector format, and the maps were difficult to maintain without current imagery, as natural conditions like fire, disease, and wind oen change forest stand boundaries and the amount of fuel present in the event of a fire. Additionally, AFFM needed to determine critical features such as lakes and infrastructure including roads, airports, and landing strips to understand access and evacuation routes and react efficiently in high risk areas during fire events. Knowing exactly where people and infrastructure are located is critical to AFFM's planning and operations and vector maps alone did not provide this information. Accurate, up-to-date imagery needed ONTARIO MINISTRY OF NATURAL RESOURCES The Aviation and Forest Fire Management, (AFFM), Branch of the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources (OMNR) is responsible for effectively utilizing aviation, forest fire management and emergency response expertise to protect and sustain Ontario and its natural resources; and they now use Maxar imagery to help prevent wildfires and better respond to those that occur. case study ONTARIO CANADA

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