The "Matash" Fire-Prediction System
Ministry of Public security
פורטל השירותים והמידע של מדינת ישראלהמשרד לביטחון הפניםHome Land Securityالصفحة الرئيسية
Friday, October 31, 2014
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
The "Matash" Fire-Prediction System
 
The research department of the Ministry of Public Security, together with developers from the field of meteorology and forest fire behavior, developed an operational technology for predicting the spread of fires, called "Matash."

 

Each year, an average of 1,000 fires occur in JNF forests throughout Israel, affecting 37,000 dunams (about 9,000 acres) of land. In Israel, there are 1,621,000 dunams (400,560 acres) of forest, making up just over 7% of Israel's total area.
The research department of the Ministry of Public Security, together with developers from the field of meteorology and forest fire behavior, developed an operational technology for predicting fires, called "Matash."
 
How the System Works:
The "Matash" system has two main components: The first is a data component which consists of collected meteorological data, such as temperature, relative humidity, precipitation and wind direction and speed. It also collects infrastructure data, such as topographical conditions, a map of flammable materials, and the moisture level of vegetation.
 
The second component of the system is a model of the fire's spreading. The "Matash" model is a function of the combined data of flammable materials, topography, and wind direction and speed. 

 

These components were developed by the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) – an American research institution – together with additional government and research agencies in the US – including the US Air Force and Navy – in a model known as the Weather Research Forecast (WRF).
 
The two components complement each other, creating a single, complete picture. The atmospheric conditions have a large impact on the behavior of a fire, especially wind and moisture levels of vegetation. 
 

Technological Features:
The "Matash" system is based on tools and models which combine all the essential variables. The system features:
 
  • A two-dimensional map
  • A three-dimensional model
  • Maps of potential fires and high-risk areas
  • Weather forecasts for the next three days at a 1.3 km resolution
  • Prediction of the fire’s behavior for the next six hours, within 30 minutes
  • Prediction of the fire’s behavior for the next hour, within 10 minutes
 

The system uses the Internet Geographic Information System (GIS), and is based on Google Maps and Google Earth. It receives live feedback based on the area's conditions and the fire's intensity and location, at a resolution of 1.3 square Kilometers; and updates meteorological information four times a day. 
 

The "Matash" system receives positional data from field reports, enters the information, and creates a prediction of the fire's development, based on the environment and atmosphere. In addition, the system has an accuracy level of within 50 meters.
 

Uses:
The "Matash" system aids in decision making, by providing information to staff on two main parameters: the rate at which the fire is advancing (speed and direction) and the intensity of the fire at its front and sides. This information helps in making decisions such as whether or not to evacuate, how to attack the fire, and what resources should be sent to the different areas of the fire. 

 

The "Matash" system is used in cooperation by all rescue and environmental agencies: The Fire and Rescue Services, the Israel Police, the JNF fire service, and the Israel Nature and Parks Authority.
 

Send to friend
Send to friend