GFMC: Meterological Conditions and Fire in South East Asia

SouthEast Asia

RegularFire and Weather Update

19 August 2002

The Meteorological ServicesDivision of Singapore provides a daily updated schematic of areasaffected by fires and smoke haze within the South East Asian region.Additionally, regional surface winds are displayed.

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Latest map of surface winds andsmoke haze/hot spots observed over cloud-free areas
(Source: Meteorological ServicesDivision of Singapore)

Forecastsof winds and surface pressure for the South East Asian region basedon Numerical Weather Product Models are also providedby Meteorological ServicesDivision of Singapore.

The Integrated Forest Fire Management Project (IFFM) in Samarinda provides regulary updated  hot spots maps of Kalimantan.

The Provincial Fire Management Center, Samarinda, reports on the weekly fire situation in East Kalimantan on 12 August 2002:
“Based on data from six weather stations (Indonesian Meterological Service) the following Fire Danger situation has been determined.
Average Fire Danger for all six location: Low

Samarinda:                      High
Balikpapan:                     Low
Tanjung Selor:                 Moderate
Tarakan:                          Low
Tanjung Redep:               Extreme
Nunukan:                         Low

The Readiness level for East Kalimantan based and determined on Fire Danger Rating System (BMG), Hotspot (JICA), Weather Forecast (, Observed Smoke and Haze, Surface winds, Fire activities report from local fire services is Siaga III (one level above normal situation). The entire report is available at The entire report and description is attached to this e-mail.
For more detailed information, see also: Detailed weekly fire situation report of East Kalimantan, 12 August 2002 compiled and analyzed by the Provincial Fire Management Center, Samarinda.

Operational Significant Event Imagery (OSEI)

The following significant event was identified by Satellite Analysis Branchmeteorologists and reviewed by the OSEI support team of the National Oceanic andAtmospheric Administration (NOAA):

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Satellite imagery of  fires currently burning in Borneo
Heat signatures (red) and smoke plumes (light blue haze) are visible from the fires
(Source: OSEI/NOAA)

The Forest Fire Prevention and Control Project (FFPCP)
The Forest Fire Prevention and Control Project (FFPCP) in Palembang (Sumatra) closed on 30 November 2001. The South Sumatra Forest Fire Management Project (SSFFMP) is expected to start within the second half of the year 2002 and will continue the work of FFPCP.
Meanwhile the daily fire map (hot-spot) and monthly drought index for Sumatra will continue to be updated from time to time.

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Latest fire overview map for Sumatra
(Source: FFPCP)

Meanwhile the daily fire map (hot-spot) and monthly drought index for Sumatra will continue to be updated from time to time.

South East AsiaFire Monitoring by ANDES
The Asia Pacific Network for Disaster Mitigation using Earth ObservationSatellite (ANDES) provides daily fire maps of mainland and insular South EastAsia. The latest maps can be accessed through the ANDESwebsite. The map below shows the latest fire map of mainland SE Asia(Thailand, Myanmar, Lao, Cambodia, Viet Nam).

LatestANDESfire location map of mainland South East Asia.
The map is generated on the basis of two satellite sensors (NOOA-AVHRR, DMSP/OLS).
Source: ANDES

Review of Regional Weather and Smoke Haze
(Meteorological Service of Singapore4 August 2002)
“Rainfall in the region in June and in the first 2 weeks of July 2002 has been below average over central and southern Sumatra and Kalimantan. As a result, increased occurrences of hotspots and smoke plumes have been detected on satellite pictures over central Sumatra and south/west Kalimantan. “

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Daily hot spots counts over Kalimantan and Sumatra from 1 June to15 July 2002
(Source: MeteorologicalServices Division of Singapore)

Weather and Haze Outlook

(MeteorologicalServices Division of Singapore 28 July 2002)

“Sea surface temperatures in the central tropical Pacific has seen widespread warming in June and July.
With SSTs at least 1 degree C above normal, sea surface conditions can be said to be consistent with that of a weak El Nino. ENSO forecasts continue to predict the continuation at least of a weak El Nino fo the rest of the year and into 2003.
Under this scenario, the impacts of this weak event in the region is not expected to reach the level of severity experienced during the strong 1997-98 El Nino, when extended dry weather conditions gave rise to widespread fires and prolonged thick smoke haze between August 1997 and April 1998.
However, with the current dry season in the region, increased occurrences of slight to moderate haze can be expected between July and October 2002.”

See also: El Niño Outlook by WMO and IRI (27 March 2002)

The GFMC displays selected and daily updated global andAsia-Pacific ExperimentalClimate Prediction Center (ECPC)  Fire Weather Forecasts.These examples allow a quicklook and provide daily and weekly total forecastsand forecasted monthly totals. For background information refer to the ECPCproducts description page.

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week 17 to 24 August

month August

Fire Weather Index (FWI) forecast for  thisweek (left) and the predicted
FWI total for next month (right) for the Western Pacific (1-3) and the PacificOcean (4-6) regions.
The weekly total forecast and the monthly forecasted total refer to 00:00 hrsUTC,
which is local noon at dateline (180° longitude). Forecast time is 12:00 hrsnoon UTC (Greenwich)
corresponding to local evening time in mainland and insular SE Asia.
(Source: ECPCFire Weather Index Forecast)

The ASEANFire Weather Information System (ASFWIS) is a co-operation betweenASEAN and the Canadian Forest Service. It provides maps describing the currentfire weather situation in South East Asia. This system is based upon theCanadian Forest Fire Danger Rating System (CFFDRS) (for further infomation tothe CFFDRS refer to ASFWIS). Studies have shown that the CFFDRS is applicableoutside of Canada. Currently it is also used in a modified form in New Zealand(see References). In NewZealand the Fire Weather Indices Fine Fuel Moisture Code (FFMC) and the InitialSpread Index (ISI) represent the fire danger in the scrublands. The DuffMoisture Code (DMC) is also applicable in South East Asia, because itpotentially describes the moisture state of the upper peat layers in peat andpeat swamp forests. All three parameters may serve as a suitable indicator offorest fire danger in South East Asia.

The updated ASFWIS maps show fire weather, fuel conditions andfire behaviour parameters for South East Asia:

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Fine Fuel Moisture Code

Duff Moisture Code

Drought Code

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Initial Spread Index

Buildup Index

Fire Weather Index

Latest output maps of the ASFWIS
(Source: ASFWIS)

Haze Prevention Group
The industrial initiative to combat haze in SE Asia provides a website which includes information about the objectives of this industrial initiative and projects implemented to reduce wildfires and haze in Indonesia.

The ASEAN Haze Action Online provides the following information:

  • Monitoring: Hyperlinks to institutions involved in regional monitoring and prediction of fire and smoke haze
  • Haze News: ASEAN Transboundary Haze Update (updated daily)
  • 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

For further information, please also have a look to the current and archived IFFN Country Notes.

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