GFMC: Meterological Conditions and Fire in South East Asia

SouthEast Asia

RegularFire and Weather Update

Fires  in  Indonesia

13 June 2003

Fire  in Riau Province (Sumatra, Indonesia)

GFMCUpdate from Riau Province

Weatherconditions through 11 June 2003 were dry, windy, and relatively unstableatmosphere resulting in active flame fronts and convection columns buildingbetween 12:00h and 17:00h each day and then strong inversions developingovernight and into the morning hours, usually breaking up around 10am. For 12 June 2003, overcast skies, stagnate air and higher humidities have reducedthe activity and spread of some fires, however smouldering continues in heavierfuel accumulations.

OnThursday, 12 June 2003, the Governor of Riau hosted a meeting to discuss thecurrent smoke/haze and fire situation with more than 150 people in attendanceincluding Bupati’s, representatives from the National Government, as well asprivate forest concessions. Presentations were made by the Governor, the AirForce and the Haze Prevention Group which were followed by discussion. The main results of the meeting were to:

1.Acknowledge that the problem exists and occurs annually
2. Socializing and enforcing existing no burn policies is very difficult
3. Existing firefighting capacities are limited in terms of organization,training, equipment, etc.
4. That a coordinated effort between all stakeholders (government, concessions,local communities) is needed to develop an Integrated Fire Management System toeffectively prevent and suppress unwanted fires
5. A small committee be formed to begin taking the initial steps to moreeffectively manage the current situation.
6. Hope that rain would soon come to “put-out” the fires

Latest Satellite Images:

This MODIS scene from 12 June 2003  showing fires burning in Sumatra, Indonesia. Click on the image to see a 500m resolution.

Heat signatures (red),  and smoke (light blue haze) are visible from fires burning in Kalimantan, Indonesia  in this NOAA-12 image.
Source: NEA

I. Monitoring of Smoke-Haze and Active Fires (land-use fires and wildfires)

Regional Smoke-Haze Monitoring

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.

Fire Activity Monitoring in Borneo(Kalimantan, Sabah, Sarawak)

The Integrated Forest Fire Management Project (IFFM) in Samarinda provides regulary updatedmaps generated by NOAA-AVHRR showing active land-use fires and wildfires inBrunei and the Indonesian and Malaysian provinces on BorneoIsland.

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Latest fire overview map for Borneo
(Source: IFFM FireMaps)

Fire Activity Monitoring in Mainland SE Asia

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

II. Fire Weather and Fire Danger Monitoring and Early Warning

Regional Fire Weather

The Regional South East Asia Fire Danger Rating System (SEA FDRS) is a joint effort between the Canadian Forest Service and the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA), in cooperation with various partners in Indonesia.

Fire Danger in SE Asia

The parameters for the Fire WeatherIndex (Fine Fuel Moisture Code, Duff Moisture Code, Drought Code, Initial SpreadIndex, Buildup Index) can be found directly at:

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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tomorrow week monthly

Fire Weather Index (FWI) forecast for  thisweek (left) and the predictedFWI 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)

Fire  Weather in East Kalimantan

Based on data from six weather stations (Indonesian Meterological Service) the following Fire Danger situation has been determined by the Integrated Forest Fire Management Project (IFFM):

Average Fire Danger for all six location: Moderate.
Samarinda: High
Balikpapan: Low
Tanjung Selor:Moderate
Tanjung Redep:Extreme

The Readiness level for East Kalimantan based and determined on Fire Danger Rating System (BMG), Hotspot , Weather Forecast ( ), Observed Smoke and Haze, Surface winds, Fire activities report from local fire services is at the alert III

For more detailed information, see also: Fire situation report of EastKalimantan (03 June 2003), compiled and analyzed by the Provincial Fire Management Center, Samarinda.The complete(detailed) report willbe sent on request. Contact:

Fire Early Warning Bulletin for South East Asia

The World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) and Project Fire Fight Southeast Asia (PFFSEA) have launched the Fire Bulletin, a weekly analyses and information on fire, haze, and related issues in Indonesia.

III. Further information: 

  • Regional South East Asia Wildland Fire Network

  • IFFN Country Notes

  • 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

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