Ethiopia Forest Fire Emergency Update: 31 March 2000 14:30 GMT

Ethiopia Forest Fire Emergency Update

31 March 2000 14:30 GMT

News were received today that there were heavy showers, in both Borana and Bale Zones, on 29 and 30 March 2000.
A helicopter survey of Dolo Mena, Goba and the area west of Shakiso was carried out yesterday and no smoke columns were spotted. No information about Bore Forest is available, but it is likely that it also rained there.
The ground crews will be assigned to monitor the situation since it is unlikely that the rains completely extinguished smouldering trees, roots and stumps. Unless the rains continue there remains a risk that fires could spread again.
The number of civilians and soldiers that were trained in fire fighting techniques totalled 755 on 30 March 2000. Hence, considerable capacities were built during the fire incident.
The Incident Command Team will continue to monitor the situation.

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..

29 March 2000, click to enlarge (496 KB) 29 March 2000, click to enlarge (43 KB) 29 March 2000, click to enlarge (62 KB)

Fig.1-3  DMSP scenes of East Africa, 29 March 2000.The red and white 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.
(Source: DMSP)

Ethiopia Current Fire Weather Situation and Forecast

Fire Weather Forecast for the Southern Region:
More moisture is coming into circulation over the country with even a few showers likely in the valley areas and the North- east of the country. Conditions will improve gradually for more widespread rain in the next couple of days as the high becomes more prominent over the southern hemisphere.

Tab.1. Addis Abba AREA FORECAST FOR 14H00 Friday 31 March 2000. Fire Danger Index (FDI)

6 Day 14h00 Forecast Ethiopia Region Addis Abba Area Day Temp (C) Hum (%) W Dir WSpd (km/h) Bar (Hpa) FDI Tendency Fri 31 30 49 NE 16 1004 58 Yellow – Sat 1 29 51 SW 21 1003 60 Orange – Sun 2 30 48 NE 17 1005 60 Orange – Mon 3 28 52 NE 19 1006 58 Yellow – Tue 4 27 55 NW 15 1004 53 Yellow – Wed 5 28 48 NE 18 1004 58 Yellow

Tab.2. Goba AREA FORECAST FOR 14H00 Friday 31 March 2000. Fire Danger Index (FDI)

6 Day 14h00 Forecast Ethiopia Region Goba Area Day Temp (C) Hum (%) W Dir WSpd (km/h) Bar (Hpa) FDI Tendency Fri 31 24 51 SE 19 1008 54 Yellow – Sat 1 23 55 SW 17 1009 50 Yellow – Sun 2 24 60 NW 15 1008 48 Yellow – Mon 3 23 65 SW 19 1007 48 Yellow – Tue 4 24 55 SE 16 1006 50 Yellow – Wed 5 24 54 NW 21 1008 54 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).

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Fig.4. and 5. Fire weather forecast maps for Ethiopia, 31 March and 1 April  2000.
Map legend
(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.4).

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Fig.4. 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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