Mapping the Wildland-Urban Interfaces for Forest Fire Prevention in the Province of Mila (Algeria)
Areas where the habitat is in contact with the forest represent danger and become a real concern for managers who need location tools to act and limit fire risks in these territories. In this context, our study focuses on determining and mapping the different types of wildland-urban interface (WUI) existing in the Zouagha forest. The methodology integrates four types of a housing structure, limited to a radius of 100 meters around each house and three classes of vegetation aggregation. The GIS tool maps and identifies twelve types of WUI in the study area. Our results show that WUI areas in the Zouagha forest increased rapidly over the last decade. New houses were the main cause for new WUI. In 2019, the number of buildings in the study area was 51% higher than in 2009. These urban areas are more exposed to wildfire risks due to their proximity to flammable fuels. The spatial analysis allows highlighting the WUI type most sensitive to a fire risk that needs the interventions of environment protection institutions to limit the damage of wildfires.