Environmental management of forest fire risk using A’SWOT’ analysis model (a case study: forest parks in the southern slopes of Alborz, Iran)
Fire can destroy forest areas along with air pollution and health hazards. The forest parks of the southern slopes of Alborz, Iran, are amazing tourist destinations for people in surrounding cities. Therefore, we determined the capabilities and limitations and formulated the best strategies to prevent and control fires using SWOT-AHP (A’SWOT) combined method. First, SWOT technique detected internal factors (strengths, or S, weaknesses, or W) and external factors (opportunities, or O, threats, or T) based on open-ended questions from local communities and experts. Then, AHP analysis model and Likert scale were performed to prioritize the best strategies as SO, WO, ST, WT solutions. The results showed that the most important factors in fire risk management, in order of the highest relative weight, were “easy access to forest park” (0.77), “lack of budget” (0.459), “existence of road networks” (0.76), “decrease in motivation and interest of volunteer and public forces” (0.417) in the strength, weakness, opportunity and threat groups, respectively. Further, the most important fire risk management strategies from the SWOT matrix and AHP method and scoring with a Likert scale, respectively, were “planning in accordance with the degree of fire risk for each part of the forest park” (0.715), “deploying quick reaction force and firefighting equipment at the appropriate point of the forest park” (0.685) and “updating knowledge in the field of fire risk management” (0.635). The A’SWOT technique was found to be appropriate in identifying the effective factors and providing operational strategies to prevent and control forest fires.