Ethiopia Forest Fire Emergency Update: 4 April 2000 08:00 GMT

Ethiopia Forest Fire Emergency Update

4 April 2000 08:00 GMT

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.

31 March 2000, click to enlarge (455 KB) 31 March 2000, click to enlarge (40 KB) 31 March 2000, click to enlarge (76 KB)

Fig.1-3  DMSP scenes of East Africa, 31 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.
(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)
(Source: DMSP)

News Coverage of Ethiopia Fires

by the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA)
Integrated Regional Information Network (IRIN) for Central and Eastern Africa
Tel:  +254 2 622147
Fax: +254 2 622129

Subject: Horn of Africa: IRIN News Briefs [2000330]
Date: Thursday, 30 Mar 2000 15:43:42 +0300 (BEAUT)

ETHIOPIA: Over 100,000 hectares hit by fire
Almost a sixth of the 580,000 hectares of virgin forest in Bale and Borena zones in Oromiya Region, southern Ethiopia, have been burnt or are still burning in multiple blazes, according to an emergency update from the Global Fire Monitoring Centre. The fires were quite patchy and not all areas within the forest path were fully burned, but an estimated 100,000 hectares were fire-damaged, it said. Analysis of high-resolution satellite imagery would be needed before precise data was available, it added. The southern parts of the fire-affected areas have received little or none of what rain has fallen in the past week, and major fires are still reported to be burning in Mada Wellabo and Nensabo (Bale zone) and in Shakiso (Borana zone), the report said. Official statistics for Bale zone as of 23 March indicated that 53,000 hectares had been burned, with 43 houses destroyed and over 5,000 beehives lost. The fires are believed to have been started by farmers clearing land or honey collectors smoking bees from trees.
[For daily analysis and monitoring of the Ethiopian fires, see:]

Ethiopia Current Fire Weather Situation and Forecast

Fire Weather Forecast for the Southern Region:
There is a well defined upper-air low developing over North-West Ethiopia with widespread rain from Tuesday night onwards. The chance for rain is the best in the mountians. If the rain occurs, any falls over 15mm will push down the index by at least another 25-40 points. This becomes a value that has to be calculated at ground level at the time and may have an impact up to 21 days after the last rains.

Tab.1. Addis Ababa area forecast for 14:00 Tuesday 4 April 2000. Fire Danger Index (FDI) legend

6 Day 14h00 Forecast Ethiopia Region Addis Abba Area Day Temp (C) Hum (%) W Dir WSpd (km/h) Bar (Hpa) FDI Tendency Tue 4 24 75 SW 17 1007 43 Green – Wed 5 23 78 SW 18 1008 42 Green – Thu 6 23 68 SW 17 1011 45 Yellow – Fri 7 26 58 SE 18 1008 53 Yellow – Sat 8 27 53 SE 17 1010 55 Yellow – Sun 9 28 48 SE 15 1012 56 Yellow

Tab.2. Goba area forecast for 14:00 Tuesday 4 April 2000. Fire Danger Index (FDI) legend

6 Day 14h00 Forecast Ethiopia Region Goba Area Day Temp (C) Hum (%) W Dir WSpd (km/h) Bar (Hpa) FDI Tendency Tue 4 21 81 E 15 1012 37 Green – Wed 5 21 84 SE 17 1010 37 Green – Thu 6 22 75 SE 15 1010 40 Green – Fri 7 23 68 NE 16 1009 44 Green – Sat 8 24 58 SE 18 1011 51 Yellow – Sun 9 22 55 SE 16 1013 47 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).

click to enlarge (115 KB) click to enlarge (117 KB)

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

click to enlarge (10 KB)

Fig.6. Structure of the Incident Command System (State: 20 March 2000)

For further information (history of the current fire situation in Ethiopia, starting in February 2000) please refer also to the earlier reports this and last week at the “Current Significant Fire Events” page. Some visual impressions from the 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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