Forest Fires in Canada: 4 May 1999


Forest Fires in Canada

4 May 1999

Several active fire signals and smoke plumes are recorded by OSEI on 2 May 1999.

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Fig.1. and Fig.2. NOAA images of the vegetation fires of Manitoba and Ontario, 2 May 1999
(Source: NOAA

Several wildfires were reported for Canada and Northern United States.

Figure 1. shows heat signatures, some of them very large, from fires burning in Manitoba and Ontario, Canada. Smoke plumes can be seen extending from the large fire area east of Lake Winnipeg in Manitoba and from fires west of Big Trout Lake and south of Lake Nipigon in Ontario. Dark red areas in southern Manitoba which extend into the United States are due to solar heating of the surface sensed by AVHRR channel 3. In these areas, yellow arrows mark hot spots which we suspect to be fire-related.signatures and a faint smoke plume from areas of fire burning in Michigan. A heat signature and a very faint smoke plume from an area of fire burning in the Blue Ridge mountains of western Virginia is shown in the right satellite image.

The second NOAA satellite image is yesterdays look at the heat signatures in Ontario and Quebec, Canada and Michigan in the United States. The areas of fire south of Lake Nipigon in Ontario have expanded significantly since the time two days ago.

In the western part of the province of Manitoba, ca. 150 km east of Winnipeg, about 60 forest and grass fires ignitioned a few days ago, currently involving ca. 400 firefighters. Unusually warm weather conditions and a time period without rain facilitated the spread of these fires.Additional strong winds at the weekend fuelled the fire hazard. Up to 1,000 people were left stranded in the western province of Manitoba yesterday after forest and grass fires drove them from their homes. Several forest fires also blazed in the neighboring province Ontario. About 1,000 people in the Ontario town of   Temagami were preparing to evacuate on Sunday before a water bomber helped change the direction of a fire that was heading toward the town.Upcoming thunderstorms with rain could extinguish the fires, although the danger for new lightning fires could increase.

Canadas forest fire season started approximately two weeks ago. John Anderson , Calgary, supported information flow to the GFMC.



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