Ethiopia Forest Fire Emergency Update: 12 March 2000

Ethiopia Forest Fire Emergency Update

12 March 2000, 09:00 GMT

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

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Fig.1. Last Advanced Very High Resolution Radiometer (AVHRR) image (resolution: 1 km) from NOAA-14 (afternoon satellite) for 10 March 2000. Note: The ground in that region can be very hot due to intense solar heating. The larger red areas in the image are probably representing heated soil and rock surfaces. However, the small and brigh red spots within the frame represent fires. The green frame in the center of the image corresponds to the geographic coordinates of the DMSP imageries which were displayed during the last days (next DMSP update: Monday 13 March 2000). Within the framed box the problem fires of the mountain forests are located.

Update report from Addis Ababa

The South African pilot trainer, technician and additional four crew leaders have arrived Sunday morning. They will continue to Goba Base Camp at 14:00 (GMT + 3hrs). There are some technical problems in the field since the hand pump for refuelling the spotter plane broke. The Ministry of Agriculture (MoA) is trying to organise a spare pump from Addis. Filled fuel will allow for two hours of flying only. Yesterday, the South African crews concentrated on continuing the training for their national team mates. There is still some specialist equipment for the winches missing (headphones, harnesses, monkey straps) but this is hoped to be solved soon.

According to reports from the fire sites as received by the Ministry in the morning, ground-based fire fighters made the following progress:

  • In Mena-Angetu Forest (south of Bale NP) 723 firefighters which are organised in eight groups have suppressed wildfires at different spots around Angetu
  • In Bale National Park 132 firefighters organised in three teams have managed to control fires at Tirak and Hada.

In Borana Zone fires are still burning in Megada and Sewana forests. Out of the 10 fire spots where fires were still burning, reportedly 7 fires are under control. However, this information needs confirmation through areal surveying.

320 back-pack water pumps as supplied by the German Government will arrive in Addis Ababa on Tuesday 14 March 2000 at 09:00 a.m.. Arrangements are under preparation to immediately dispatch them to the fire sites.

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.2).

et_03072000_13a.gif (1228 Byte)

Fig.2. Structure of the Incident Command System

For further information (history of the current fire situation, etc.) please refer also to the earlier reports this and last week at the Current Significant Fire Events page. Some visual impressions from the currently ongoing fires in Ethiopia are also available.

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