Ethiopia Forest Fire Emergency Update: 26 March 2000, 11:00 GMT

Ethiopia Forest Fire Emergency Update

26 March 2000, 11:00 GMT

There were heavy showers on Friday and Saturday in Bale Zone around Dolo Mena. No smoke columns were observed in that area during surveying activities on Saturday and Sunday morning. The fires in this area appear to be under control.

In Shakiso area (Borana Zone) only very light rains were received. There are fire reports from four Woredas of the Zone, namely Shakiso, Adola, Uraga and Bore. In the last three Woredas fires are accessible for ground-based fire fighters. Given the training these fire fighters received during the last days, the area chief is confident that they will be able to suppress them. Fires in Shakiso Woreda, which are located in Sewana, Megado and around the microwave tower are very fierce and difficult to suppress. The fire around the microwave tower was fought for the last two days by the South African and Ethiopian specialist crews. They were supported by water bombing from one helicopter. Technicians of the Ethiopian Telecommunication company were stand-by to dismantle the electronic parts of the tower if the fire should further approach. Just now we received a message that the fire has been contained.

Tomorrow, the remaining South African team members will return to Addis and leave for Johannesburg on Tuesday.

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..

23 March 2000, click to enlarge (618 KB) 23 March 2000, click to enlarge (24 KB) 22 March 2000, click to enlarge (58 KB)

Fig.1-3  DMSP scenes of East Africa, 23 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)
(source: DMSP)

Ethiopia Current Fire Weather Situation and Forecast

Fire Weather Forecast for the Southern Region:

Tab.1. Addis Abba AREA FORECAST FOR 14H00 Sunday 26 March 2000
The amount of rain that is falling is restricted to the mountains and there are no reports from these regions as to build that into the fire danger index. It is reports that reach Goba, but it does not seem as if it rained at Goba. Hot spots regarding fire danger indicies remain.

6 Day 14h00 Forecast Ethiopia Region Addis Abba Area Day Temp (C) Hum (%) W Dir WSpd (km/h) Bar (Hpa) FDI Tendency 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 – Thu 30 33 45 NE 17 1007 65 Orange – Fri 31 34 42 NE 19 1005 69 Orange

Tab.2. Goba AREA FORECAST FOR 14H00 Sunday 26 March 2000
There are a few rain showers but as expected not widespread. The low pressure areas remain in the southern Hemisphere thus the showers and rain is restricted to the mountains that does fall and only isolated but scattered in the southern extremes.

6 Day 14h00 Forecast Ethiopia Region Goba Area Day Temp (C) Hum (%) W Dir WSpd (km/h) Bar (Hpa) FDI Tendency 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 – Thu 30 26 43 SE 17 1008 57 Yellow – Fri 31 27 39 SE 19 1007 62 Orange

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).

click to enlarge (90 KB) click to enlarge (95 KB)

Fig.4. and 5. Fire weather forecast maps for Ethiopia, 26 and 27 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.6).

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Fig.6. 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.

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