General News: 'Calchas' analysis system against wildfires

A European project for the effective fire conservancy of forest ecosystems will be in operation in two regions of increased ecological importance, namely, Mt Grammos in extreme northwest Greece and the Troodos mountain range of Cyprus.
The presentation of the “Calchas” system, an integrated analysis system for the effective fire conservancy of forests, took place on Wednesday at the information centre on Grammos at the Nestorio site, within the framework of an event hosted by Arcturos environmental group.
The project, named after a mythological soothsayer, is expected to serve as a useful tool in actual disaster management or for training purposes.
The Calchas project focuses on risk reduction through the evaluation of hazards, good planning, proper management strategies and co-operation.
The main stages of the project include the registration of local flora in a Geographic Information System (GIS), as well as, a forest-fire simulation tool capable of estimating the evolution of a wild forest fire by using as inputs data on ignition points, real environmental conditions, the vegetation of the area and spatial information (isocontours and ground elevation).
Twenty meteorological stations will be installed on the mountains of Grammos and Troodos to provide data for the system. Operational trials will be carried out over a two-year pilot period in both case study areas.
The project, with a budget of 2,340,839 euros, is financed by the EU (Life+ programme) in cooperation with the Agricultural University of Athens (AUA), TERRA NOVA Ltd., National Technical University of Athens, MARAC Electronics S.A., Arcturos, Union of Cyprus Communities. 

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