Early Warning of Forest Fire Danger in Central Asia, 15 May 2000

Early Warning of Forest Fire Danger in Central Asia

15 May 2000

The early spring fire season in China and Mongolia, and the current fire situation in the South of the Russian Federation are precursors of a severe fire season in Central Asia. As can be seen on the Early Fire Warning Section of the GFMC homepage the global to regional fire weather forecasts of the Experimental Climate Prediction Center the forecasted and modeled fire danger for the next week and the next month remain severe. The United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (UN OCHA) on 11 and 12 May 2000 issued drought reports for Pakistan and Iran.

In accordance with UN OCHA report (OCHA/GVA 2000/0092) the drought situation in Pakistan is rapidly developing into one of the worst natural disasters in the country’s history. Balochistan and Sindh are the most heavily affected provinces. Although the affected areas have always been prone to water shortages, rainfall measured over the last few years has reached a record low, with minimal or sometimes no rain falling. A large number of families have been affected together with the loss of livestock, the mainstay of their livelihood. The dearth of food and water has forced many families to migrate to other parts of the country.

Southern, southeastern and southwestern Iran are experiencing a rapidly developing drought which has been causing widespread arid condition in southern and western Asian countries. Hundreds of thousands of people as well as livestock and crops in 17 out of the total 28 provinces in the country have been affected (

OCHA/GVA – 2000/0093).

It is expected that the forest fire situation will be extreme in the coming weeks and months in Pakistan, Iran, Afghanistan, Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan, and Kazakhstan.

For a recent national fire report from Kazakhstan see IFFN No. 22 (April 2000). The 1999 Afghanistan Fire Emergency can be accessed in the GFMC archive.

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