GFMC: Forest Fires in the Russian Federation

Forest Fires in the Russian Federation

27 May 2002

Avialesookhrana from the National Forest Fire Centre of Russia provides up-to-date NOAA images for the whole of the Russian Federation and neighbour territories. 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.
The NOAA AVHRR satellite image composite of 26 May 2002 shows fire activities in the Russian Federation.

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NOAA 12 & 14 AVHRR composite of 26 May 2002.
The red squares indicate regions of active fires. For details the GFMC readers are encouraged to
use the hyperlinks provided by Avialesookhrana, the Aerial Forest Fire Protection Service of the
Federal Forest service of Russia. (Source: Avialesookhrana cloudiness maps)

According to the situation report of the Ministry of Natural Resources of 26 May 2002 a total of 288 fires affected 7720 ha forested and 1914 ha non-forested areas. Plus the 63 fires were put out the same day when it were started. Since the beginning of the 2002 fire season a total of 10,433 fires affected 285,806 ha forested and 158,749 ha non-forested land.
The most fire activity retain in South of Krasnoyarsk, Irkutsk, Iakuteia regions. Fire activities slow down in Khabarovsk, Chita.

There were following large fires:

  • Irkutsk -10, the biggest was 500 ha.

  • Khabarovsk -18. The most of them is contained.

  • Iakuteia-27, the biggest was 7,000 ha forested and 2,000 ha non-forested.

Through all of Russia on fire fighting have been involved 4013 people, 62 aircraft, 658 bulldozers, tractors and engines.
Source: Aerial Forest Fire Protection Service  of Russia (Avialesookhrana)

The Taiga is burning in Russia’s Far East
Forests are set on fire deliberately so one can buy them cheap for exploitation

Moscow, 23 May 2002. The region of Jakutia in Siberia is strongly affected by fire and water. Like last year numerous rivers burst their banks due to unexpected warm weather. The capital of the region, Jakutsk, was not directly affected by water, but the losses on dams and buildings in the subburbs amount to several millions of dollars. Russia’s biggest producer of diamonds spends no money on these problems.
Unusually hot and dry weather conditions caused wildfires on some thousand square kilometers. The fires in the neighbouring region of Irkutsk are contained. The firefighters were assisted by strong rainfalls.
The Taiga in Russia´s far east keeps on burning. The number of fires in the Khabarovsk region increased from 77 to 86 from Tuesday to Wednesday 21-22 May 2002. Eleven fires had been contained but 21 new fires were reported. The total area affected reached 70,000 ha. The state of emergency had been declared for three rural districts.
The minister of Emergency Situations Management (EMERCOM), Sergej Shoigu, arrived in Khabarovsk yesterday. For the first time Shoigu admitted that in most cases the fires are caused by arson. Forestry companies are buying burned forests for bargain prices in order to resell the timber for higher prices.
Badische Zeitung, Freiburg, 23 May 2002, by Alexeij Dubatov, Correspondent to Badische Zeitung, Freiburg (translated from German to English by GFMC)

Eurasian Experimental Fire Weather Information System
The system has been developed by forest fire researchers from Canada, Russia and Germany is displayed on this website starting 18 July 2001. Complete information and a set of daily fire weather and fire behaviour potential maps covering Eurasia (the Baltic Region, Eastern Europe, countries of the Commonwealth of Independent States, Mongolia) can be accessed at:

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Figure 1. Example of the Eurasian Experimental Fire Weather Information System:
The Experimental Fire Weather Index (FWI) for Russia and neighbouringcountries, 26 May 2002.

Daily Fire Occurrence and Fire Danger Maps of the Fire Laboratory of the Sukachev Institute of Forest, Krasnoyarsk
Selected fire occurrence maps, satellite images and a forest fire danger map are prepared daily by the Russian GFMC correspondent Dr. Anatoly Sukhinin, Fire Laboratory of the Sukachev Institute of Forest, Krasnoyarsk, in collaboration with the Emergency Situation Monitoring and Forecasting Agency, Krasnoyarsk branch. The maps are produced on the base of satellite data (classification by the NOAA AVHRR). They show the fire locations (by latitude and longitude) and the area affected by fire (red signature, size in ha). The red arrow at each fire location points to the nearest populated place. The terms Oblast or Krai used in the maps are designations of administrative regions. A map showing the boundaries ofadministrative regions and a legend is included below.

ru_fire_legend.gif (937 Byte)

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Map legend

Administrative boundaries

26 May 2002:

Overview map showing large fire locations covering the10-days period 16 May  to 26 May 2002:

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Amurskaya Oblast Amurskaya Oblast Amurskaya Oblast

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Amurskaya Oblast Irkutskaya Oblast Krasnoyarski Krai

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Krasnoyarski Krai Jakutia  Jakutia

For more details on fire in the Russian Federation, Mongolia and China: See IFFN Country Notes. Scientific details on fire in the Russian Federation are provided by the Fire Research Campaign Asia-North (FIRESCAN) report.

Bibliography on fire in ecosystems of boreal Eurasia:
One of the results of the first international fire science conference in the Russian Federation (1993) was the publication of a monograph on fire in boreal Eurasia, including some selected contributions on boreal North America. The literature cited in the monograph contains numerous publications which in many cases are not easily accessible. To facilitate literature search the bibliographical sources are provided by topic (chapter).
Goldammer, J.G. and V.V.Furyaev. 1996. Fire in Ecosystems of Boreal Eurasia. Kluwer Academic Publishers, Dordrecht, 390 p.

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