A forest fire (also known as wildfire) is an unplanned and uncontrolled fire in an area of combustible vegetation, such as forest, grassland or prairie. It is often caused by human activities or natural phenomenon, like lightning. Nevertheless, according to a World Health Organization report, in 50% of wildfires recorded, the cause that triggered them is unknown.
Mountainous regions, like Rizhao in Shandong Province of China, are vulnerable to forest fire. Recognised by the United Nations in 2009 as one of the most habitable cities in the world, this city consists of 4,358 mountains, with a forest area of 1,400 square kilometres that accounts for 70% of the region. The illegal wood burning in the area, if not controlled properly, can lead to a disastrous wildfire.
Monitoring and spotting fire sources in time
For decades, forest rangers manually scout and monitor the area, walking nearly 10 kilometres of treacherous trails for several hours a day, in order to safeguard the forest aga…