Forest Fires in Canada: 28 June 1999


Forest Fires in Canada

28 June 1999

The hot and dry weather conditions with steady and high temperatures up to 30°C over the weekend in Atlantic Canada favored the expansion of forest fires. In Quebec and Newfoundland fires occurred at several spots. Forty-nine forest fires were burning in New Brunswick on Sunday. Most of the fires in the province were ignited since a lightning storm last Tuesday; many of the fires have been kept under control.

Although some of the thunderstorms happened last week, lightning strikes can extend as far as half a metre or more into the ground, resulting in fires breaking out a week or more later.

Additional technical help, such as extra helicopters and water bombers were brought in from the neighbor province Ontario to fight the fires.

Because of the high fire danger risk a ban on all camp fires were issued in the endangered regions.

Rain and showers are forecasted for Monday 28 June, although there is a chance of thundershowers in some areas.

The year-to-date statistic shows 434 fires in the province, which have burned more than 1,220 hectares of woodlands, which is more than twice in number and acreage of last year.

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Fig.1. Hotspot overview, 27 June 1999
(Source: FireM3)

Several vegetation fires were detected by OSEI with the NOAA-14 AVHRR HRPT satellites.

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Fig.2. and 3. The left image shows heat signatures and dense smoke from the large fire areas in eastern Quebec and southeastern Newfoundland of 25 June 1999. The smoke becomes mixed with high cloud cover to the east which also appears as a blue haze. Distinguishing between the two is rather difficult. OSEI  produced a second image using a different channel combination to help determine how much of that area is smoke. This channel combination shows the smoke as a gray haze and high clouds as blue and white in the right image.

The above mentioned fire situation map can be directly accessed at the Fire Monitoring, Mapping, and Modelling (FireM3) Project website (the FireM3 project is a collaboration of the Canadian Forest Service and the Canada Centre for Remote Sensing). Through the Map Link 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.

Saskatchewan Daily Forest Fire Situation Report (10:00 AM Sunday, 27 June, 1999):

There are 15 forest fires burning in the province today.
1 fires have been extinguished in the past 24 hours.
1 new fires have been reported.
Total number of fires to date this year is 291.
Total to date last year was 596, FIVE year average is 343.

The whole report and further information can be accessed at the fire management website of Saskatchewan Environment and Resource Management (SERM).

The CANADIAN DAILY FIRE SITUATION REPORT shows further detailed information regarding the fire situation in Canada, which, however,   will not be mentioned here in detail. We refer to the corresponding home page.

Regular updates on the currently ongoing International Crown Fire Modelling Experiment in the Northwest Territories. The experimental site is located 40 km northeast of Fort Providence (61.6° N, 117.2° W). For more information see


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