China has launched a surveillance and early-warning system to monitor lightning strikes in the northern Da Hinggan Mountains to protect the country’s largest virgin forest zone from frequent fire disasters.
The surveillance and early warning service system has been jointly built by north China’s Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region and the north-eastern Heilongjiang Province at a cost of over USD 1.2 million, the Heilongjiang Provincial Meteorological Bureau said.
The bureau said the entire system consists of monitoring stations, weather stations and data processing centres, Xinhua news agency reported. The monitoring stations will work with existing remote sensing surveillance systems to forecast and locate potential lightning strikes, assess the wind scale, soil dryness and other conditions for the data processing centre to figure out the risk of a forest fire.
Compared to conventional helicopter patrol and human alert, the new system will be able to monitor larger expanse of forests and generate more accurate reports to guide prevention of forest fires, meteorologists said.