Unplanned and uncontrolled fires cause havoc on lives, ecologies, economies, and the climate alike. Whether the cause is natural or due to human activities, the destruction affects wildlife habitats, properties, and human health and safety.
For many years, there was no way of predicting a catastrophic fire, let alone managing them. Today, technology has paved the way for effective monitoring and managing of wildfires, all thanks to fire data.
However, it's not that simple.
With growing risks of wildfire every year—especially due to climate change—the need for fire data to be more robust, comprehensive, and granular is now paramount. The parameters for fire data simply cannot stop at burnt area or intensity.
To fill the existing gaps in data provided using outdated technologies, Ambee has launched a new, improved, and majorly enhanced version of forest fire API.
In this blog, we will highlight the extent of destruction caused by forest fires, how Ambee’s latest fire API can play a significant role in mitigating those risks, and how various industries leverage the API for their benefit.
Let’s dive into this.
The extent of destruction caused by forest fires
Between 1970 and 2018, forest fires in the Amazon rainforest destroyed an estimated 17% of the forest, releasing billions of tons of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere and impacting biodiversity. The 2019-20 Australian bushfires burned over 46 million acres of land, resulting in human fatalities and the loss of thousands of homes and other structures.
In 2022, wildfires burned a total of 7.5 million acres in the US. These figures are higher than the ten-year average of 7.3 million acres.
The list of the destructions caused by global wildfires goes on.
While the impact remains strong on the environment and properties, the health impacts cannot be ignored. The smoke and pollutants released by forest fires have significant health impacts, particularly on vulnerable groups such as children and the elderly. Exposure to wildfire smoke can increase the risk of respiratory and cardiovascular diseases, as well as other health problems.
There are also indirect economic impacts of wildfires, with more resources being allocated to fire control and suppression. This leads to less availability of resources for other purposes. For example, the Pacific Gas and Electric Co. cut power for 87,000 customers in Northern California as a pre-emptive measure, leading to business and economic loss.
The average annual global cost of wildfires is around $50 billion, and the estimated global increase of extreme wildfires is 14% by 2030. This raises some serious concerns about its potential impacts.
To help monitor and mitigate the risks posed by wildfires, Ambee’s newly upgraded fire API provides more comprehensive data that can be utilized by organizations and administrations across the globe.
The way forward—Ambee’s upgraded forest fire API
Ambee’s upgraded forest fire API provides users with critical information on the location, intensity, and size, among other parameters. This also includes comprehensive air quality data that can help detect the lingering effects of toxic air. With its easy-to-use interface and robust search capabilities, the forest fire API is an essential tool for anyone seeking to stay informed and take proactive measures to protect life and property.
Ambee is in the process of constantly improving this product with new features, forecasts, maps, and more. Some of our new parameters also include the Fire Risk Index and burnedArea polygon coordinates, which can be highly beneficial to analyze the burnt locations with greater depth.
Burned area polygon indicates the region of area affected by the fire. Using the burned area polygon any user can plot the region and visualize it on a map. Using this, stakeholders can better understand the extent of the fire and plan their actions accordingly. This data is only available as a part of Ambee’s forest fire API.
Ambee’s forest fire API is available globally and has an hourly refresh rate. Here is the complete list of parameters available for the latest forest fire APIs.
Get a detailed overview of the response parameters of forest fire APIs on our documentation page. This documentation also provides the end point, sample URLs, and sample responses.
How various industries can leverage forest fire data for their benefit
Preventing and mitigating forest fires is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the potential applications of fire data. Different industries can use forest fire data in various ways to inform decision-making, prevent or mitigate the impact of forest fires, and improve the management of natural resources.
Here are some examples of how different industries can use forest fire data:
Insurance: Damage to lives and properties are heavy due to wildfires. Fire data can help insurers identify properties at a higher risk of fire damage based on historical incidents. Using this, they can determine insurance premiums, coverage, and underwriting. Fire data can also help insurers identify the extent of damages and assess insurance claims. Loss prevention strategies and resource allocation are also some of the areas where fire data can come in handy. By analyzing fire data, insurers can identify trends and patterns that can help them to anticipate and better prepare for future fire risks.
Real estate: The real estate industry can use forest fire data to assess the risk of wildfire damage to homes and other properties. For example, homes located in areas with a high risk of wildfire may be more difficult to insure or may require additional precautions such as the installation of fire-resistant materials. By using forest fire data to assess risk, real estate companies can make informed decisions about property values and insurance rates.
Transportation and logistics: When it comes to transportation,monitoring and managing the impact of wildfires on roads, bridges, and other infrastructure is vital. Wildfires can damage roadways and cause closures or delays, which can impact the movement of goods and people. Using forest fire data to track the location and severity of fires, transportation companies can develop contingency plans and take proactive measures to minimize disruptions to their operations.
Forestry and agriculture: Forest fire data can help these industries better understand the risks and potential impacts of forest fires on resources and develop strategies to prevent or mitigate those impacts. For example, forestry companies can use forest fire data to plan harvesting activities and to prioritize reforestation efforts in areas affected by wildfires. Similarly, the agriculture industry can use forest fire data to monitor and predict air quality, which can damage crops and affect livestock health. They can use forest fire data to track the extent and severity of fires to adjust their agricultural practices accordingly.
Governments and administrations: Forest fire data can be used by governments and public sector organizations to plan and allocate resources for wildfire response. They can develop policies related to land use and management and start public safety initiatives. Forest fire data can be used to identify high-risk areas to prioritize funding for fire suppression and prevention efforts.
Interested in fire data for your business?
While the industries above are just a few examples of how Ambee’s data can make a difference, the opportunities provided by this dataset are endless. If you are interested in fire data, check it out on our API dashboard.
We also have a product dedicated to forest fires. Get a complete picture of this product and the intent behind its development here. If you require visualized forest fire data combined with air quality and weather parameters, head over to the forest fire dashboard now!