GFMC: Forest Fires in Canada, 3 July 2000

Forest Fires in Canada

3 July 2000


The Canadian Interagency Forest Fire Centre (CIFFC) distributes timely information about forest fires in Canada. The current fire situation for 2 July 2000 can be summarized as follows:

over the last 24 hours: 31 fires for 5.295 ha season summary: 2,410 fires for 59,712 hectares

 

According to the National Forest Fire Situation Report of 28 June 2000 (updated every Friday), due to continuing cool wet weather across much of the country, the weekly number of fires continues to be below average and the area burned to date has dropped to less than 1/10 of normal. To date, Manitoba and B.C. account for over 55% of the total area burned. Risk of fire has increased slightly over the last week in Saskatchewan and Alberta.
Although risk of fire remains relatively low across most of the country, dry conditions have continued or have been developing for the last week The Buildup Index remains high for most of western and northwestern Canada. Areas to watch for are Saskatchewan, Alberta and the Maritimes.

Number and area of forest fires in Canada, as of 28 June 2000

current uncontrolled controlled active modified 11 78 27   2000
(to date)
10-year
average
in %
of normal
Prescribed
burning
Number 2,032 3,430 59% 41 Area (ha) 41,635 661,541 6% 7,878

 

The Fire Monitoring, Mapping, and Modelling (FireM3) is a collaboration of the Canadian Forest Service and the Canada Centre for Remote Sensing. Through the Map Link at the FireM3 web site you can access daily hotspot images. An Internet Map Server, which is like a simple GIS running on the host computer, allows you to zoom in on any fire or other area of interest and view the image and map data at full (1km) resolution. You can also click on any fire and get information about that fire.

click here to enlarge (23 KB) click here to enlarge (29 KB)

Hotspot overview, year 2000 up to 1 July 2000 (left) and an overview for 1 July only (right)
(Source: FireM3)

click here to enlarge (150 KB)

Closeup regional image for Northern Saskatchewan, 2 July 2000
(Source: FireM3)

The Canadian Forest Fire Weather Index (FWI) System is a part of the Canadian Wildland Fire Information System and consists of six components that account for the effects of fuel moisture and wind on fire behavior. The first three components are fuel moisture codes and are numerical ratings of the moisture content of litter and other fine fuels, the average moisture contentof loosely compacted organic layers of moderate depth, and the average moisture content of deep, compact organic layers. The remaining three components are fire behavior indexes which represent the rate of fire spread, the fuel available for combustion, and the frontal fire intensity; their values rise as the fire danger increases. For futher information please see the Summary Information.

The latest available images (Fig.3.-9.) are shown below (2 July 2000):

click to enlarge (30 - 40 KB)
Fine Fuel Moisture Code click to enlarge (30 - 40 KB)
Duff Moisture Code click to enlarge (30 - 40 KB)
Drought Code click to enlarge (30 - 40 KB)
Initial Spread Index click to enlarge (30 - 40 KB)
Buildup Index click to enlarge (30 - 40 KB)
Fire Weather Index click to enlarge (30 - 40 KB)
Fire Danger Rating

 

The Canadian Forest Fire Behavior Prediction (FBP) System is an other part of the Canadian Wildland Fire Information System and provides quantitative estimates of head fire spread rate, fuel consumption, fire intensity, and fire description. With the aid of an elliptical fire growth model, it gives estimates of fire area, perimeter, perimeter growth rate, and flank and back fire behavior. For futher information please see the Summary Information.

The latest available images (Fig.10.-15.) are shown below (2 July 2000):

click to enlarge (30 - 40 KB)
Foliar Moisture Content click to enlarge (30 - 40 KB)
Surface Fuel Consumption click to enlarge (30 - 40 KB)
Rate of Spread click to enlarge (30 - 40 KB)
Total Fuel Consumption click to enlarge (30 - 40 KB)
Head Fire Intensity click to enlarge (30 - 40 KB)
Fire Type

 

The Saskatchewan Daily Forest Fire Situation Report (2 July) is listing all forest fires currently burning in Saskatchewan and their current status. This report also gives statistics on the total number of fires to date. The whole report and further information can be accessed at the fire management website of “Saskatchewan Environment and Resource Management” (SERM).

fires burning in the province today: 50 extinguished in the past 24 hours: 7 new fires: 11 total number of fires to date this year: 273 total up to this date last year: 321 five year average for this date: 342

 

British Columbia Forest Service Wildfire Report (23 June 2000):
Forest fire danger increases
VICTORIA – A warming trend early this week has resulted in a moderate increase in the fire danger rating across the province.
The warmer weather is expected to continue through the weekend, along with westerly winds. Burning restrictions are in place in the southeast, Kamloops Okanagan area and coastal region in response to this warming and drying trend, and fire centres are anticipating more wildfire starts.
So far this year, 300 wildfires have been reported in the province, almost 90 per cent of them caused by human activity. With cooler temperatures and the high moisture levels, however, most of these fires have been quickly contained.
At the same time last year, 299 fires had been reported. The Forest Service responds to an average of 2,800 wildfires during an annual fire season. Ninety-four per cent of these fires have been contained at less than four hectares.
Over the past 10 years, abandoned campfires have started an average of 16 per cent of all wildfires caused by human activity. Open burning including backyard, slash piles and agricultural clearing caused another 28 per cent of wildfires. Other causes included discarded cigarettes, arson and equipment use. Lightning caused 50 per cent of all wildfires reported in the province.

Wildfire Statistics Report, 28 June 2000

Number of Fires Burning: 58 Number of New Fires (Lightning): 8 Number of New Fires (Human Caused): 10 Total Lightning Fires: 50 Total Human Caused Fires: 292 Total Fires to Date: 342 Total Area Burned (Ha.): 11,274

 

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Fig.16. Fire Danger Rating for British Columbia, 2 July 2000.
(Source: British Columbia Forest Service)

 

News from the International Crown Fire Modelling Experiment (ICFME)
(Ft. Providence, Northwest Territories, Canada)
ICFME Phase IV (The Final Chapter) has started on 10 June 2000 and will last until ca. 1 July 2000 depending on weather conditions. The experiment has been described in International Forest Fire News (IFFN) No. 21 (September 1999). During the experimental phases a special ICFME website is updated daily. The website includes the update information on weather and experimental status.
On 10 Jun 2000 the national Canadian and international research teams arrived on site. GFMC will report about news not contained in the ICFME web site through GFMC staff member Tobias Zorn who is part of the international team.


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