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Towards Forest Fire Prevention and Combat through Citizen Science
Involving the community (volunteers) in citizen science projects is a good way to address and prevent a lot of societal concerns. The participation of volunteers has been quit frequent in citizen science projects; making them a fundamental key for the success of these projects. Volunteers participate in citizen science projects by collecting and processing data that can be used for various purposes such as educational, scientific, preservation of biodiversity, decision-making, etc. In forest fire prevention, participation of citizens in collecting and processing data could help significantly in decision-making related to forest fire prevention and mitigation. Mobile phones can be the tool of choice for collecting data due to not only to its wide availability and powerful communication features but also to its embedded sensing capabilities such as GPS location, camera and microphone.
This study is concerning to the development of a mobile-based citizen science project that allows volunteers to report fire-prone area, the occurrence of fire, and area where fire has occurred; then these information are used by firefighters and specialists for decision-making. In a scenario of fire occurrence, volunteers can take a picture of the place where the fire is occurring, upload to the mobile application, and send GPS location of the place; then the application notifies the firefighters and helps them allocate the needed resources to combat the fire based on the information sent by the volunteers.