Report received 24 March 2000 08:30 GMT
The fire in Nechisar National Park is contained. It is estimated that 10 to 15% of the total Park Area has burned. The spotter plane is currently surveying the area and will report to the Incident Command later today. There is still a serious fire around Amare Mountain, which is located east of the National Park.
Another fire was reported from Butajira Mountain (Gurarghe Mountain), approximately 100 km SSW of Addis Ababa. The fire is reportedly raging in the Erica arborea Zone of the forest, but no details are known yet.
Fires in Borana Zone are still serious. There are 3 major fires in Shakiso Woreda (Sewana, Angedi and Amegedu locations) and five serious fires in Bore Woreda. Some of these fires have reportedly developed to crown fires. Due to logistic problems (fuel supply) the helicopters were only available for transport purposes during the last days. The focus was, hence, on ground-based fire fighting and training. The newly trained trainers were split up in three groups and carried out training in three different Woredas. In Shakiso Woreda, another 50 civilians and soldiers were trained on the job yesterday, the figures from the other Woredas have been reported yet. Including these 50, the number of trained fire fighters totals 530 now (for both Zones).
The remaining South African fire fighters were deployed to combat a fire close to the micro-wave tower close to Shakiso town. The fire was contained at the access road to the tower last night and the suppression activities are presently continued.
Winds were fairly strong on Wednesday, but calmed down yesterday. There are no reports about rains.
Satellite Fire Reconnaissance Update
The update information by satellite sensors is provided by imageries of the U.S. Defense Meteorological Satellite Program (DMSP). The provision of satellite data are a response of the U.S. Government to the Government of Ethiopia’s call for international assistance..
Fig.1-3 DMSP scenes of East Africa, 21 March 2000.The red dots represent active fires. The center and right fire map show the area in which the problem fires are currently burning and fire-suppression actions take place. Land signature: brown; water: blue; clouds: grey; stable lights (cities): cyan.
(Fig.1.: Upper left corner 20°N, 22°E lower right corner 0°N, 50°E; Fig.2 & 3: Upper left corner 9°N, 38°E lower right corner 5°N, 42°E)
Fig.4-6 DMSP scenes of East Africa, 22 March 2000.The red dots represent active fires. The center and right fire map show the area in which the problem fires are currently burning and fire-suppression actions take place. Land signature: brown; water: blue; clouds: grey; stable lights (cities): cyan.
(Fig.4.: Upper left corner 20°N, 22°E lower right corner 0°N, 50°E; Fig.4 & 6: Upper left corner 9°N, 38°E lower right corner 5°N, 42°E)
Ethiopia Current Fire Weather Situation and Forecast
Fire Weather Forecast for the Southern Region:
A high pressure ridge in the upper air over the southern continent will gradually force moisture northwards with a better chance for scattered showers. However there are new tropical systems to the north of Madagascar that will prohibit fairly general rain.
Tab.1. Addis Abba AREA FORECAST FOR 14H00 Friday 24 March 2000
6 Day 14h00 Forecast Ethiopia Region Addis Abba Area Day Temp (C) Hum (%) W Dir WSpd (km/h) Bar (Hpa) FDI Tendency Fri 24 27 65 NE 21 1007 53 Yellow – Sat 25 28 61 NE 18 1005 54 Yellow – Sun 26 30 57 NE 17 1007 56 Yellow – Mon 27 31 55 E 15 1006 58 Yellow – Tue 28 31 54 ESE 13 1006 56 Yellow – Wed 29 32 52 SE 14 1005 59 Yellow
Tab.2. Goba AREA FORECAST FOR 14H00 Friday 24 March 2000
6 Day 14h00 Forecast Ethiopia Region Goba Area Day Temp (C) Hum (%) W Dir WSpd (km/h) Bar (Hpa) FDI Tendency Fri 24 24 68 NE 20 1010 49 Yellow – Sat 25 25 63 SE 15 1008 48 Yellow – Sun 26 26 58 SE 17 1009 52 Yellow – Mon 27 26 55 SE 15 1007 52 Yellow – Tue 28 27 53 SE 13 1006 52 Yellow – Wed 29 28 54 SE 14 1005 53 Yellow
Source of forecast tables: Net Forecasting (South Africa) on the base of data from the ECMWF (European Center For Medium Range Weather Forecasts) and the U.K.M.O. (United Kingdom Meteorological Office).
Fig.7. and 8. Fire weather forecast maps for Ethiopia, 24 and 25 March 2000
(Source: Net Forecasting)
Also available is a three-month rain forecast (starting 26 February 2000). The implications of this forecast are discussed by Net Forecasting.
An Eastern Africa and the Horn Satellite Imagery (NDVI) and rainfall analysis is provided by the USAID Famine Early Warning System.
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.9).
Fig.9. Structure of the Incident Command System (State: 20 March 2000)
Nationalgeographic / News has published an article which describes the ongoing fires resulting from slash-and-burn practices in Africa and Indonesia with information and imageries from last days GFMC webpages: Slash-and-Burn Agriculture Sparks Devastating Fires (16 March 2000).
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 and several photographs taken from the Space Shuttle missions in the 1980s and 1990s with general impression of land cover and fires are also available.