GFMC: Forest Fires in the Russian Federation


Forest Fires  in the Russian Federation  

06 September 2010

Close-up MODIS (Terra) satellite image of a fire burning in Samara, East of Volgograd (4 September 2010)

Close-up satellite composite land cover map of the fire location east of Oktyabarsk (Samara).

Latest News:

The forest fires have killed 8 people so far, injured 18. In the fire affected regions WOLGOGRAD and SARATOW the following resources are dispatched: 3 fix wing fire bombers, 4 helicopters and 2 543 persons. Most of the fires are reported “contained”. (EMERCOM 03Sep10).

Wildfires return to Russia, but not for long

The last forest fire in the Volgograd region was put out, Itar Tass reported, quoting the local department of the Russian Emergencies Ministry.
Propeller Eight people died and 28 were injured during the fires in the region, the Emergencies Ministry reported. Twenty residential areas caught on fire, 531 buildings burned down, including 419 residential houses. Up to 1,000 people remain homeless; bedding facilities and food service have been organized for them.
The Volgograd region administration promised to provide lodging to the victims until December 1, and allocated 900 million rubles for this purpose.
While raging wildfires have left yet another trail of destruction in Southern Russia, President Dmitry Medvedev has vowed to punish those responsible for the negligence that has caused them.
“We need to deal with this, it is gross negligence,” he pointed. “It seemed that what happened in August should have taught local authorities.”
“We need to draw conclusions from what happened and, if needed, bring to account or even sack those responsible for the fires,” Medvedev added. Source:

Fires brought under control in southern Russia

Moscow – Downpours of rain and a let-up in the wind helped ease the situation in areas of southern Russia affected by a new flare-up in wildfires, officials said Saturday.
The Civil Defence Ministry said the total area affected by the fires had declined from 866 hectares to 139 hectares after the change of weather, the news agency Ria Novosty reported.
However, thousands of firefighters were still battling to control blazes in four parts of the Volgograd region where a state of emergency was declared on Friday.
No new new fires were reported in the Moscow region where peat fires in early August saw large parts of the capital shrouded in a cloak of thick smoke.
The latest outbreak left at least eight people dead and around 30 injured.
Some 800 buildings were destroyed, including about 500 apartment buildings. Many villages had to be evacuated.
Russian prosecutors launched several arson investigations, while Prime Minister Vladimir Putin promised rapid financial aid to all those affected.
President Dmitry Medvedev late last month had lifted a state of emergency affecting much of Russia, after the worst wildfires in the country’s history were extinguished. They had killed more than 60 people and left thousands homeless.

Russian wildfire victims get $33 million

MOSCOW, Sept. 4 (UPI) — Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin says Volgograd and Saratov will get $33 million to help in recover from wildfires that killed at least 50 people. Fires in the European regions of Russia in August also destroyed more than 2,000 homes, RIA Novosti said Saturday. Russia was widely criticized for its response during the fires, and the Russian Investigative Committee said officials in the Volgograd region were negligent in their response. Russian President Dmitry Medvedev said he wants officials to be extra vigilant to prevent new fires from erupting and ordered Regional Development Minister Viktor Basargin to expedite aid to those impacted by the blazes.

GFMC analysis: According to the latest satellite-derived analysis provided by the Sukachev Institute for Forest and Emercom (using the NOAA AVHRR satellite data) and the Institute of Space Research of the Russian Academy of Sciences (using the MODIS satellite data) the total area burned by 18 August 2010 in the Russian Federation is:

NOAA AVHRR: 5.9 million ha

MODIS: 5.8 million ha

Note: The area burned includes all vegetation types (forest and non-forested land on the whole territory of the Russian Federation, including territories in which fires are monitored only but not controlled). This explains the discrepancy of fire statistics published by various government sources, which exclusively refer to forests under fire protection (see FAO Regional Fire Report Central Asia Region).

Note: Both, data and fire situation reports of Avialesookhrana from the National Forest Fire Centre of Russia as well as from Fire Laboratory of the Sukachev Institute of Forest, Krasnoyarsk are temporarily not available due to correction of satellite algorithms.

Fire danger map for 6 September:

Source: Sukachev Institute for Forest, Krasnoyarsk

Avialesookhrana from the National Forest Fire Centre of Russia provides up-to-date NOAA images for the whole of the Russian Federation and neighbour territories. The Space Monitoring Information Support Laboratory provides extensive links to sites with satellite imagery for the Russian Federation, meteorological information as well as fire related images are accessible.

The NOAA AVHRR satellite image composite shows fire activities in the Russian Federation.

click to enlarge (360 KB)

Latest (06 September 2010 09:00 GMT) NOAA 12&14 AVHRR composite
The red squares indicate regions of active fires (MODIS Detection). For details the GFMC readers are encouraged to use the hyperlinks provided by Avialesookhrana, the Aerial Forest Fire Protection Service of the Federal Forest service of Russia.
(Source: Avialesookhrana cloudiness maps)

Eurasian Experimental Fire Weather Information System
The system has been developed by forest fire researchers from Canada, Russia and Germany is displayed on this website starting 18 July 2001. Complete information and a set of daily fire weather and fire behaviour potential maps covering Eurasia (the Baltic Region, Eastern Europe, countries of the Commonwealth of Independent States, Mongolia) can be accessed at:

Example of the Eurasian Experimental Fire Weather Information System:
Latest map of the Experimental Fire Weather Index (FWI) for Russia and neighbouring countries

Daily Fire Occurrence and Fire Danger Maps of the Fire Laboratory of the Sukachev Institute of Forest, Krasnoyarsk
Selected fire occurrence maps, satellite images and a forest fire danger map are prepared daily by the Russian GFMC correspondent Dr. Anatoly Sukhinin, Fire Laboratory of the Sukachev Institute of Forest, Krasnoyarsk, in collaboration with the Emergency Situation Monitoring and Forecasting Agency, Krasnoyarsk branch. The maps are produced on the base of satellite data (classification by the NOAA AVHRR). They show the fire locations (by latitude and longitude) and the area affected by fire (red signature, size in ha). The red arrow at each fire location points to the nearest populated place. The terms Oblast or Kray used in the maps are designations of administrative regions. A map showing the boundaries of administrative regions and a legend is included below.

ru_fire_legend.gif (937 Byte)

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Map legend

Administrative boundaries

Latest maps maps showing fire activities of  06 September 2010 (selection):

Overview map showing large fire locations detected over the last 10 days:

click here to enlarge (561 KB)


Latest maps maps showing fire activities of  06 September 2010 (selection):

click to enlarge (40-50 KB) click to enlarge (40-50 KB) click to enlarge (40-50 KB) Khakass Republic Krasnodar Kray Yamal-Nenets Autonomous Area/Okrug

More maps of other regions are available on request:

For more details on fire in the Russian Federation:

Bibliography on fire in ecosystems of boreal Eurasia:
One of the results of the first international fire science conference in the Russian Federation (1993) was the publication of a monograph on fire in boreal Eurasia, including some selected contributions on boreal North America. The literature cited in the monograph contains numerous publications which in many cases are not easily accessible. To facilitate literature search the bibliographical sources are provided by topic (chapter).
Goldammer, J.G. and V.V.Furyaev. 1996. Fire in Ecosystems of Boreal Eurasia. Kluwer Academic Publishers, Dordrecht, 390 p.

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