A satellite image of 30 April 1998 shows fire activities in the Far East of the Russian Federation, N to NE of the common border with the People`s Republic of China (the yellow borderline in the satellite image stretches along the Amur River [Heilongjiang River]).
Fig.1. NOAA imagery of the forest fires in the Far East of Russia of 30 April 1999
(Source: NOAA http://www.osei.noaa.gov/)
Figure1 shows heat signatures, probably from areas of fire burning south of the snow line in eastern Russia and in northern China. Snow cover is the blue textured area to the north and in the mountains of north China. This area was plagued by large, widespread fires throughout the summer of 1998. During 1997 more than 2.5 million ha of fires were recored on fire-susceptible (and usually fire-protected) forests of the Russian Far East. Recent quick-look satellite imagery evaluation indicates a total area burned on protected and non-protected forest and non-forest land of more than 6 million ha in 1998.
The Aerial Forest Fire Protection Service Avialesookhrana of the Federal Forest Service of Russia reports the state of fire in the 1999 fires season as of the end of 29 April 1999:
Up to 29 April 1999 a total of 1,358 fires occurred in forests under the control of the Federal Forest Service of Russia, burning a total of 10,498 ha of forest and 5,699 ha non-forest areas (inside forest lands). During the day of 29 April 1999 a total of 81 fires were burning and affected 1,072 ha forest and 478 ha of non-forest land. The regions with highest fire activity on 29 April were:
Khabarovsk region – 26 fires -270 ha
Chita region- 25 fires – 660 ha
Tjumen region -16 fires – 6 ha
Two large fires in Khabarovsk region recently burned 500 ha and 2,000 ha respectively (100% contained) and one fire in Chita affecting 470 ha. On 27 April 1999 a crown fire in Rostov region (Southern part of European Russia) burnt 360 ha pine (Pinus) tree plantation.
More update information on current fire data will be given by mid of this week (ca. 4 or 5 May 1999).
This web site of the Space Monitoring Information Support Laboratory provides extensive links to sites with satellite imagery for the Russian Federation, meteorological information as well as fire related images are accessible.