Forest Fires in the Russian Federation: 29 May 2000

Forest Fires in the Russian Federation

29 May 2000

Presidential Decree on Restructuring the responsibilities of the Federal Forest Service of Russia including the Forest Fire Protection Service
In a move to restructure the federal government’s executive branch, President Vladimir Putin has eliminated the State Committees for Forestry and for Environmental Protection along with several others. The environmental and forestry functions were transferred to the Ministry on Natural Resources. The decree was signed on Friday 19 May 2000 and made public over the weekend. It triggered immediate public response. As more details will be available on the restructuring of the Federal Forest Service and the Aerial Forest Fire Protection Service Avialesookhrana the GFMC will continue to provide update information on new developments. Avialesookhrana is responsible for aerial forest fire protection on the largest contiguous forest of the world.
The GFMC was informed that the Federal Forest Service will be abolished within the next two months. The future of the Aerial Forest Fire Protection Service Avialesookhrana at this stage is still uncertain. We will provide more detailed information after 12 June 2000.

“Forest Fires Raging in Far East” (by BBC, 26 May 2000)
According to the BBC report “Forest Fires Raging in Far East”, forest fires have swept a 250 ha of forest twelve kilometres off the settlement of Milkovo situated in the very centre of Kamchatka. Woodland and tundra areas have been swept by the flames, the Far Eastern regional emergencies centre reported. The overall number of fire spots in the Far East has been estimated at eleven by now with fire having spread to a territory of 4,144 ha. Strong forest fires continue in Khabarovsk and Amur Regions. Forests with a total area of 2,400 hectares are ablaze two kilometres off the settlement of Beryzovyy of the Solnechnyy District of Khabarovsk Region. Another fire has swept the territory of 300 hectares 12 kilometres off the town of Zeya. Fire brigades provided with all kinds of fire-fighting equipment are making efforts to abate the flames in accessible areas.

Selected fire occurrence maps 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. Today, the following images are available for 27 May 2000:

27 May 2000:

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Fig.1. Map legend Fig.2. Coverage map showing regional boundaries Fig.3. Amur Oblast

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Fig.4. Buryatia Republic Fig.5.Buryatia Republic Fig.6. Chita Oblast

Several vegetation fires were detected by NESDIS/OSEI in central Russia:

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Fig.7. NESDIS/OSEI NOAA-14 POES AVHRR satellite image, 26 May 2000.
Heat signatures (red) and smoke (light blue) are visible from several large fires burning northwest of Novosibirsk in central Russia. Other smaller heat signatures are also visible in the image.

The Aerial Forest Fire Protection Service Avialesookhrana of the Federal Forest Service of Russia reports the state of fire in the 2000 fire season to the GFMC. The latest report is from 19 May 2000:
Up to 18 May 2000 a total of 5,425 fires occurred in the forests under the control of the Federal Forest Service of Russia and burning a total of 306,717 ha of forest and 110,417 ha non forest areas (inside forest lands).
During the day of 17 May 2000 a total of 105 fires were burning and affected 6,900 ha forest and non forest land.
The regions with the highest fire activity were:
Buriateia, Chita and Irkutsk
There were 38 big fires (16 of them were controlled the same day).

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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