Report received 12 April 2000 12:00 GMT New fires are reported from Eastern Hararghe Zone, Oromiya Region (around 42° E and 9° N). The fires were purposely started in grazing areas by herdsmen on April, 7. From there, they escaped to the surrounding forestlands. As of 10 April 2000 460 ha were burned. Major forest species effected are Hagenia abyssinica, Juniperus procera, Podocarpus africanus and Olea. The fires are approaching Gara Muleta State Forest.
4 people were wounded by stone throw, one of them seriously. This happened, because the bedrocks exploded due to heat expansion.
So far 1,700 fire fighters are mobilised, comprising soldiers, police men and community members.
The Ministry was asked to make fire fighting equipment available to the zone. Currently, efforts are under way to relocate the equipment from Bale and Borana Zones to the new fire areas. Furthermore, the fire fighting trainers which were trained during the previous fire incident will be deployed to the area. For assistance with equipment like water bowsers, tents and trucks different institutions operating in the area will be contacted (army, NGO projects, private companies). The Ministry also recommends that an Incident Command Structure will be established on zonal level.
Several people who are under suspicion of having started the fires were arrested.
Ethiopia Current Fire Weather Situation and Forecast
Fire Weather Forecast for the Southern Region:
There is only a 20% chance for isolated thundershowers.
If there is not a lot of rain as per region, the fire index will start to rise rapidly over the next couple of days. The only areas that will have a lower fire index will be the areas that received 12mm or more over the last 3 days. Areas with no rain will go much higher than stated in the forecast.
6 Day 14h00 Forecast Ethiopia Region Goba Area Day Temp (C) Hum (%) W Dir WSpd (km/h) Bar (Hpa) FDI Tendency Thu 13 27 45 SW 17 1009 57 Yellow – Fri 14 28 47 SE 16 1012 57 Yellow – Sat 15 29 45 SE 16 1010 59 Yellow – Sun 16 28 35 SE 13 1010 59 Yellow – Mon 17 28 37 SE 15 1009 60 Orange – Tue 18 27 37 SE 17 1008 60 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).
Fig.1. and 2. Fire weather forecast maps for Ethiopia, 13 and 14 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.
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.