Himalayan forest fire characterization in relation to topography, socio-economy and meteorology parameters in Arunachal Pradesh, India


Monitoring and management of forest fire is imperative in India where 50% of forest cover is prone to the fire. The study aims for applying the geospatial technology towards forest fire characterization and evaluation of relationship with meteorological thematic layers. Spatial analysis of forest fires in the state of Arunachal Pradesh was carried out based upon the decadal (2008–2016) forest fire count datasets, which was assessed for spatial variability over the known Himalayan biodiversity hotspot in diverse geographical and socio-economic gradients. Result suggested that Kameng districts had maximum fire incidences (25.2%) whereas it has 15.2% of state forest, established the districts as ‘forest fire hotspot’ in the state. Maximum number of incidences (88%) occurred in areas of low elevation (< 1500 m). There was high correlation with socio-economy where 42.3% forest fire points falls in high poverty index areas and 73% of fire incidences in the areas having population density 6–50. All districts showed high fire incidences, therefore an urgent intervention is greatly required by the policy makers towards conservation and management of forest fire prevention and control by adopting focused intervention, strategic allocation of limited resources in potent areas in order to safeguard Himalayan region of highest biodiversity.

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The authors are grateful to the USGS for free download of Landsat and DEM (ASTER) data which was used in the analysis. We are also greatful to the Forest survey of India (FSI), DIVA GIS, National Center for Environmental Prediction (NCEP) for providing free download of various dataset used in the analysis. And, also to the Department of Environment and Forests, Govt. of Arunachal Pradesh Itanagar for this opportunity of carrying out the research work.

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FA proposed the idea and analyzed the satellite and ancillary data in GIS domain, LG supervised the analysis, and added dimensions of metrological factors and drafted the manuscript. AQ made critical evaluation regarding GIS analysis and provided continuous feedbacks. All authors read and approved the final manuscript.

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Correspondence to Abdul Qayum.

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Ahmad, F., Goparaju, L. & Qayum, A. Himalayan forest fire characterization in relation to topography, socio-economy and meteorology parameters in Arunachal Pradesh, India. Spat. Inf. Res. 26, 305–315 (2018). https://doi.org/10.1007/s41324-018-0175-1

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  • Arunachal Pradesh
  • Cramer’s V coefficient
  • Forest fire incidences
  • Meteorological data
  • Socio-economy
  • Topographical data