GFMC: Forest Fires in Canada, 7 July 2000

Forest Fires in Canada

7 July 2000

The Canadian Interagency Forest Fire Centre (CIFFC) distributes timely information about forest fires in Canada. The current fire situation for 5 July 2000 can be summarized as follows:

over the last 24 hours: 18 fires for 12,582 ha season summary: 2,482 fires for 82,364 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)
in %
of normal
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.

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Satellite image, daily fire overview map and season-to-date hotspot map for 6 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 are shown below (5 July 2000):

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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 are shown below (5 July 2000):

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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 (6 July 2000) 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: 22 extinguished in the past 24 hours: 6 new fires: 1 total number of fires to date this year: 290 total up to this date last year: 330 five year average for this date: 377


British Columbia Forest Service Wildfire Report (5 July 2000):
Scientists seek to improve understanding of wildfire behaviour
A series of experimental wildfires have been set this summer near Fort Providence in the Northwest Territories to study the science and behaviour of wildfires. These are the most complex and intensively monitored controlled fires ever set in North America. Judi Beck, team leader of Fire Science with the B.C. Forest Service, joined nearly 60 researchers and fire operations personnel from Canada, the U.S., Russia, France and Australia taking part in the experiment. Portugal, Germany and Spain also sent participants this year. The Fort Providence experiments are part of a two-year project conducted by the Canadian Forest Service of Natural Resources Canada in co-operation with the government of the Northwest Territories to study crown fires – the most spectacular and destructive types of wildfires affecting forested areas. High intensity crown fires, where flames leap from tree top to tree top, account for most of the area burned by wildfires in B.C. Researchers collected data on factors including weather conditions, wind speeds, temperature and moisture, and will analyze how this affects fire behaviour. As the experimental fires burned, their behaviour was documented from the ground, in towers and by helicopter. As part of this study, methods are also being developed for homeowners living near forested areas to help decrease the risk of property damage in an urban interface fire situation. Another study tested the protective equipment used by wildland fire fighters. Over the years, forest fire research scientists in Canada and the U.S. have been working on the development of prediction systems for fire danger and fire behaviour. These systems are used by fire management agencies to position both fire detection and fire suppression resources, including fire fighting crews and equipment.
The International Crown Fire Modelling Experiment (ICFME) in Fort Providence, Northwest Territories/Canada, ended with its final chapter, Phase IV, on 1 July 2000. Following pictures were provided Miguel Cruz, Nathalie Lavoie and Xavier Navalon Nonell.

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During the experimental phases a special ICFME website was updated daily. A final description with a summary will be provided in the next couple of days. The experiment has been also described in the International Forest Fire News (IFFN) No. 21 (September 1999).

Wildfire Statistics Report, 6 July 2000

Number of Fires Burning: 63 Number of New Fires (Lightning): 0 Number of New Fires (Human Caused): 2 Total Lightning Fires: 97 Total Human Caused Fires: 315 Total Fires to Date: 412 Total Area Burned (ha): 12,295


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Fire Danger Rating for British Columbia, 6 July 2000.
(Source: British Columbia Forest Service)



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