Environmental and Geological control on Bushfire Hazard in the Caribbean: Case study from Northern Range, Trinidad
Climate change is an unavoidable environmental issue. As like other regions like California in USA and Australia, the incidences of bush fire are increasing in the Caribbean region during dry seasons. The overall aim of this project is to assess the bushfire hazard in Trinidad as an example from this region. The objectives of this project were to: • To determine the ability of land-owners in Trinidad to manage the threat of bushfires in their locality. • To investigate how detailed siting, building/servicing information and location layout can be used to help prepare land owners and help reduce the risk of bushfire threats. • To assess how the increase in bushfires in the Trinidad northern mountain range has affected the ecology and human life in the area. • To assist in the creation of specific policies that deal with the threat of bushfires to landowners and their homes. • To determine the extent of damage that bushfires cause to the natural ecosystems of Trinidad's northern range. This study was done as a way to understand the methods by which the fires spread and to help determine what relationships there are between physical and weather characteristics within the Northern Range of Trinidad and Tobago. Data for the past 5-10 years, from the Forestry Division of the Ministry of Agriculture was obtained to give an idea of the number of fires that occur yearly within the specified area. Data of the type of material as well as the effects that the bushfires have on the landscape of the area was also obtained. This data was then mapped using ArcGIS to give an idea as to what patterns exist between the spread of the fires and the characteristics of the area. Data on weather patterns of the past five years was also obtained to show the relationships between the spread of fires and specific weather patterns. Policies from more established fire tested countries such as Australia and USA were examined. This was done to get an understanding of the type of mitigation methods that are being applied to reduce the spread of bushfires. It was also done to determine what methods can be applied to Trinidad and how we could improve the current policies implemented here.