GIS-Based Modeling for Forest Fire Extent Mapping in Simen Mountains National Park, Ethiopia

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Addis Ababa University


In recent years, Simen Mountains National Park (SMNP) has been suffering from frequent forest fires. This forest fire has become a significant factor in environmental degradation, destroying forest cover, leading to loss of biodiversity and exposing the underlying soil to erosion and nitrate leaching from agricultural lands. The main aim of this study is to detect and map forest fire extents, assess land use /land cover changes, map fire risk and forecast forest fire in SMNP. Satellite imagery was vital to monitor and map the earlier fire extents of the study area. Accordingly, the biophysical and ignition risk were adopted to analyze the fires occurring in the park. The biophysical risk model utilized four factors that include land use and land cover (LULC), elevation, slope and aspect. LULC was generated from Landsat 7 and 8 of 2010, 2015 and 2019 respectively. Elevation, aspect and slope were calculated from a digital elevation model. These factors are given different weights by using the pairwise comparison method. The ignition sub model was developed using the proximity analysis method, distance from settlements and roads. By integrating, the biophysical risk submodel, ignition risk submodel and the Difference normalized burn ratio (dNBR) index map, the final forest fire risk model was developed. Weighted overlay analysis techniques were used to develop the final forest fire risk model. In all developed models, the degree of fire risk is categorized under very high, high, moderate and low risk. The final forest fire model showed that 67.86km 2 (16.47%), 78.53km 2 (19.06%), 191.82km 2 (46.56%) and 73.79km 2 (17.91%) area of SMNP are categorized under very high, high, moderate and low risk, respectively. Therefore the result shows that there is a significant area under fire risk, which needs frequent follow up.



Fire severity, biophysical, ignition, Land Use Land Cover, Normalized Burn Ratio