Forest Fires in China Extinguished: 9 April 1999

Forest Fires in China Extinguished, but:
High fire danger to continue in Central Temperate-Boreal Asia

9 April 1999

The extreme forest fires in China were extinguished successful, but high fire danger to continue in Central Temperate-Boreal Asia.

The extremely strong winds which had fanned fires in Shanxi Province are now calmed down, and the 2000 fire fighters were successful stopping the fire. Fire control was supported by a successful operation to induce artificial rain. The fire which started 4 April 1999 in Linfen region left 23 people dead.

Northern China is currently suffering the worst drought since 1916 when weather recording began. Countrywide China experiences less than 50 percent of average precipitation. The Yangtse River water level is ca. 2.3 m below the 1998 level. This is not only due to lack of rain: Deforestation and colonization of former swamp areas have resulted in reduction of water retention capacity and faster runoff.

GFMC fire danger prediction for Central Asia in the temperate-boreal transition zone: The spring fire season will be severe.

Authorities need to prepare for extreme fire situations.

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