Forest fires are a constant danger, particularly for arid countries. They act as a brake on economic development and are a threat to environment, by the large scale release of greenhouse gases as well as by the destruction of ecosystems.
The FORFIRE project, which includes the use of Micromegas1 detectors, has been supported by the European Union (FP7 program) in order to develop a network of sensors sensitive to the light emitted during a forest fire, allowing its almost instantaneous detection (opposed to the several minutes required by current methods).
1) MICROMEGAS: MICRO-MEsh GAseous Structure.
2) CCD: Charge Coupled Device.
3) UV: Ultra-Violet.