Forest Fire Emergency in Ethiopia: 9 March 2000

Forest Fire Emergency in Ethiopia

9 March 2000

The update information by satellite sensors is provided by imageries of the U.S. Defense Meteorological Satellite Program (DMSP), and NOAA / National Environmental Satellite, Data, and Information Service (NOAA/NESDIS).

click to enlarge (678 KB)

Fig.1.  Satellite imagery (NOAA/AVHRR) of the Ethiopian fire scene on 8 March 2000. Single red pixels show land-use fires and wildfires. Larger accumulations of pixels are either caused by solar reflection or hot surfaces (rock outcrops).
(Source: NOAA, National Environmental Satellite, Data, and Information Service International and Interagency Affairs Office, thanks to the liaison efforts of Janice Sessing.)

8 March 2000 (28 KB) 8 March 2000 (66 KB)

Fig.2-3 DMSP closeup scenes of the Bale region and Borana, 8 March 2000. The red dots represent active fires.
Land signature: brown; water: blue; clouds: grey; stable lights (cities): cyan.
(upper left corner 9 N, 38 E lower right corner 5 N, 42 E)
(source: DMSP)

Ethiopia Current Fire Weather Situation and Forecast

6 Day 14h00 Forecast Ethiopia Region Addis Abba Area Day Temp (C) Hum (%) W Dir WSpd (km/h) Bar (Hpa) FDI Tendency Wed 8 31 38 W 8 1011 58 Yellow – Thu 9 32 36 NNW 10 1013 62 Orange – Fri 10 33 34 NE 15 1012 68 Orange – Sat 11 32 38 NE 14 1009 64 Orange – Sun 12 33 36 NW 7 1007 60 Orange – Mon 13 30 45 SW 10 1006 56 Yellow

Currently there is a 5880gpm high over central Ethiopia and although a few isolated thundershowers may occur in the south they will fall flat in the evening.With topical movement still active off the South-African coast it will take some time for the ITCZ to move north and establish itself for the season. Only on day 6 it seems as if the high makes way for better thundershower/shower conditions in the south. Source: The exact source of this fire-weather information received from South Africa will be provided on 10 March 2000.

The Ethiopian National Fire Fighting Committee, supported by the International Fire Emergency Advisory Group, has set up an Incident Command System. The structure of the system is given in the chart (Fig.4).

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Fig.4. Structure of the Incident Command System

International Fire Emergency Advisory Group at work in the Incident Command Center (click to enlarge 222 KB)

Fig.5.  International Fire Emergency Advisory Group at work in the Incident Command Center, Addis Ababa (8 March 2000). The international advisory group from left to right: Johan Heine (South Africa), Mike Calvert (South Africa), Johann G. Goldammer (GFMC, Germany), Deon Brits (South Africa). Not in the photograph: Jim Sorenson (USA, OFDA) and Gunther Haase (Forestry Advisor, German Agency for Technical Cooperation – GTZ). The Incident Command Center is lead by Mr. Tamiru Habte, Ministry of Agriculture of Ethiopia. Overall responsibility is with Vice Minister Belay Ejigu.

PlanetArk posted the following article today:

Ethiopia deploys 70,000 people to fight forest fire (March 9, 2000)
ADDIS ABABA – Ethiopia said yesterday it had deployed some 70,000 people to fight a raging forest fire in the south of the country but international assistance was still needed. Kuma Demeksa, head of a government committee set up to deal with the blaze, said soldiers, local farmers and university students had been mobilised to tackle the fire. But he said international help was still required to provide aerial support to fight the three-week-old fire which has already destroyed at least 70,000 hectares of forest, scrub and coffee plantations.
An international firefighting team which has flown over the affected area said on Tuesday helicopter crews were needed to bomb the fires with water. Johann Goldammer of the Global Fire Monitoring Centre said $30,000 in funding and other logistical support was needed for the first phase of the
operation. Conservationists say the fire is now approaching the Bale Mountains National Park, home to several of the world’s rarest mammal species including the Simien Fox, Mountain Nyala and Menelik’s Bushbuck.
The fires are thought to have been started by farmers clearing forest for cultivation, or honey collectors smoking out bees in areas dried out by drought. Hot, gusty winds have helped the fires take hold.

For further information please refer also to the earlier reports this and last week at the “Current Significant Fire Events” page.

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