Rain over Indonesia’s Sumatra island cleared yesterday the smog from fires in Riau province, however, experts warned that this could be just a temporary situation, when fires and smoke will return because of dry and windy weather conditions.The fires have largely been caused by plantation firms trying to clear forest land, although small farmers using slash and burn agriculture have also been blamed. For the next two to three months the fire and smog danger is still high in this region, as experts predicted.
ASEAN environment ministers have brought forward by two months a meeting to tackle the smog hanging over parts of the region from forest fires in Indonesia. The AMMH (Asean Ministerial Meeting on the Haze) will be held at the end of this month, because of the current situation of raging fires in Sumatra and Kalimantan.
On Monday, Indonesian President B.J. Habibie called for action to stop the forest fires.
More details about the current fire and smog situation in Indonesia are available under Rains clear smog in Sumatra, but it may be back (12 August 1999), ASEAN brings forward smog meeting as fires rage (11 August 1999) and Indonesia’s Habibie calls for action to stop fires (10 August 1999) published byPlanet Ark.
The Meteorological Service of Singapore reports on 11 August 1999 for the South East Asian region: “Cloudy over Kalimantan. Hot spots were detected in central and southern Sumatra”.
Fig.1. Regional Surface Winds and Haze/Hot Spot Map, 11 August 1999
Forecasts of winds and surface pressure are available at http://www.gov.sg/metsin/flm.html
A special site dedicated to haze/smoke, entitled with the same name HAZE, gives further information to the current haze situation over South East Asia and SEAsia haze related sites.
maps for Western-Pacific
lately not available maps for Western-Pacific
lately not available maps for Western-Pacific
lately not available
tomorrow next week this month
Fig.2-7. Fire Weather Index (FWI) forecast for tomorrow (left), next week (center) and the predicted FWI anomaly for this month (right) for the Western Pacific and the Pacific Ocean. The daily forecast refers to 12:00 hrs noon UTC (Greenwich) time; the weekly total forecast and the monthly forecasted anomaly refer to 00:00 hrs UTC which is local noon at dateline (180° longitude). Forecast time is 12:00 hrs noon UTC (Greenwich) corresponding to local evening time in mainland and insular SE Asia (updated: 12 August 1999).
The ASEAN Haze Action Online provides the following information:
Monitoring: Hyperlinks to institutions involved in regional monitoring and prediction of fire and smoke haze
Intranet: Information and possible participation in the ASEAN Haze Action Online Intranet Information Services (for associated registered participants)
Mobilization Plan: Model Fire Suppression Mobilization Plan
Inventory: Inventory and analysis of forest and land fire suppression capabilities
Haze Forum: Communication platform on fire and smoke-haze issues in the ASEAN region
Calendar: Fire and haze-related events can be identified by a search modus
The ASEAN Fire Weather Information System (ASFWIS) is a co-operation between ASEAN and the Canadian Forest Service. It provides maps describing the current fire weather situation in South East Asia. This system is based upon the Canadian Forest Fire Danger Rating System (CFFDRS) (for further infomation to the CFFDRS refer to ASFWIS). Studies have shown that the CFFDRS is applicable outside of Canada. Currently it is also used in a modified form in New Zealand (see References). In New Zealand the Fire Weather Indices Fine Fuel Moisture Code (FFMC) and the Initial Spread Index (ISI) represent the fire danger in the scrublands. The Duff Moisture Code (DMC) is also applicable in South East Asia, because it potentially describes the moisture state of the upper peat layers in peat and peat swamp forests. All three parameters may serve as a suitable indicator of forest fire danger in South East Asia.
According to the ASFWIS for 10 August 1999 these parameters show various fire weather conditions over South East Asia.
Fine Fuel Moisture Code Duff Moisture Code Drought Code
Initial Spread Index Buildup Index Fire Weather Index
Fig.8-13. Output maps of the ASFWIS, 10 August 1999
The latest NOAA14 satellite image shows hot spot locations in Sumatra. “Hot spots” can be identified as red dots.
Fig.14. Latest NOAA Satellite image of Sumatra, 11 August 1999
The Indonesian Meteorological Agency Badan Meteorologi dan Geofisika publishs the Indonesia Daily Forecasting for tomorrow, 12 August 1999. For the representative selected areas metereological data are provided as follows:
The Forest Fire Prevention and Control Project (FFPCP) in Palembang (Sumatra) provides a new fire overview map on 12 August 1999.
Fig.15. Fire Overview Map for 12 August 1999 of the FFPCP project in Palembang. Partly cloudy over South Sumatra, North Sumatra, West Sumatra, Riau and Lampung province
Fig.16. Fire Overview Map for 11 August 1999 of the IFFM project in Samarinda
Summary: Although the current fire weather conditions do under normal conditions not favour extensive land clearing by fire or escaping wildfires in Indonesia, the consequences of the large wildfires of 1997-98 must been taken into consideration. These fires had caused extensive degradation of primary and secondary forests along with the spreading of “alang-alang” (Imperata cylindrica) grasslands. These grasslands facilitate the spread of uncontrolled fires over large areas.