Fires pose a strong threat to the future existence of Indonesia's peatswamp forests. Therefore the Central Kalimantan Peatland Project is strongly determined to decrease fire incidence in the area. It combats further destruction of peatlands combining state-of-the-art satellite technology with quick response by local community fire brigades.
Satellites – a vital tool for fire-monitoring
The project uses satellite imagery to monitor the occurrence of fires in the region. Experts carefully analyse realtime NOAA satellite images to detect HotSpots – areas with increased surface temperatures – which are indicative of fires. This enables rapid assessment of large remote and inaccessible areas. Combined with observations by mobile field brigades these data lead to up to date fire risk maps and actual information on occurrence of wildfires.
Local communities fight the fires
Fire monitoring with satellites enables a rapid response by fire brigades in the field. Currently the project establishes 25 community-based brigades in different villages throughout the area. The brigades are trained and equipped with boats, communication tools and fire fighting equipment and materials necessary for optimal effectiveness.
Wells are constructed in areas subjected to particularly high fire risks to ensure rapid and constant availability of water. Although these measures cannot completely avoid fire-outbreak, they can significantly reduce fire intensity and negative impacts to people and environment.