GFMC: Forest Fires in the Russian Federation

Forest Fires Emergency in the Russian Federation

17 June 2003

GFMC General Situation Assessment  (25 May 2003)

GFMC analysis: According to the latest satellite-derived analysis the total area burned by 17 June 2003 in the Russian Federation is 18.98 million hectares (ha). For comparison: The total area burned of the whole fire season 2002 was 11.7 million ha (see references at bottom of this web page). The regions most affected are:

– Chitinskaya Oblast – 6.19 million ha

– Buryatiya Republic – 3.77 million ha

– Amurskaya Oblast – 2.78 million ha

Source: Sukachev Institute for Forest, Krasnoyarsk (A.Sukhinin), in cooperation with EMERKOM of Russia (Russian Ministry for Emergency Situations).

The Situation in the south of the Russian Federation has escalated in the last two weeks. Satellite images show hundreds of wildfires burning out of control. Severe smoke pollution is affecting Mongolia, eastern China and is stretching to the Pacific Ocean. See also updates of the previous days at:

Latest Satellite Images:

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Satellite Terra 16 June 2003, Pixel size 500m

Fires in south eastern Russia
In south eastern Russia (near chinese border), scores of fires are burning. This Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) image from the Auqa and Terra satellite shows active fires marked with red dots. The fires are producing rivers of smoke which extend far to the south into China and have spread eastward over the Pacific Ocean.
Source: MODIS

Heat signatures (red), burn scars (dark green to charcoal), and smoke (light blue haze) are visible from fires burning in Russia in this MODIS (Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer) image from the Aqua satellite.17 June 2003.
Source: OSEI

Fire danger map for 16 June 2003 for the Central Siberia.

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 Source: Sukachev Institute for Forest, Krasnoyarsk

Synoptic weather map for 17 June 2003 for the Russian Federation.

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 Source: Sukachev Institute for Forest, Krasnoyarsk

Smoke situation  in south eastern Russia map for 15 June 2003 

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 Source: Sukachev Institute for Forest, Krasnoyarsk

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 shows fire activities in the Russian Federation.

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Latest NOAA 12&14 AVHRR composite
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)

Latest fire situation report by the Aerial Forest Fire Protection Service of Russia (Avialesookhrana), 15 June 2003

Fire activities retain still severe in Chita, Buriatia, Irkutsk regions and increasing in Tuva and Iakutia regions. Wet and cold in European part of Russia.

According to the situation report of the Ministry of Natural Resources of 15 June 2003 a total of 499 fires affected 16,530 ha forested and 1,403 ha non-forested areas. 67 fires of them were reported as new fires. In addition 11 fires occurred that were put out the same day when they started.

Since the beginning of the 2003 fire season a total of 15,049 fires affected 1,180,986 ha forested and 277,560 ha non-forested land under the responsibility of the Ministry of Natural Resources. (For comparison: Last year up to this date 14,600 fires had burnt 425,370 ha forested and 238,711 ha non-forested lands.)

Most fires have been reported in the following regions:

  • Chita region – 98 fires

  • Buriatia – 79

  • Irkutsk – 150

  • Khabarovsk-24

  • Primorie-10

  • Krasnoiarsk-29

  • Tuva-33

Large fires were reported in:

  • Chita region – 75 fires, the biggest is 14,600 ha.

  • Irkutsk –38 fires, the biggest is 6,000 ha.

  • Buriatia 41 fires, the biggest is 5,200 ha.

  • Khabarovsk-9 fires, the biggest is 3,070 ha.
  • Tuva-8 fires, the biggest is 3,000 ha.
  • Iakutia-9 fires, the biggest is 7,000 ha.

Through all of Russia 7,548 people, 52 aircraft, 1,137 bulldozers, tractors and engines have been involved in fire fighting.

Source: Aerial Forest Fire Protection Service of Russia (Avialesookhrana)

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:

Example of the Eurasian Experimental Fire Weather Information System:
Latest map of the Experimental Fire Weather Index (FWI) for Russia and neighbouring countries

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 Kray used in the maps are designations of administrative regions. A map showing the boundaries of administrative regions and a legend is included below.

ru_fire_legend.gif (937 Byte)

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Map legend

Administrative boundaries

Overview map showing large fire locations detected over the last 10 days

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Latest maps maps showing fire activities of 16 June 2003 (selection)

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Agyinski Buryatyi Buryatiya Republic Buryatiya Republic

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Buryatiya Republic Buryatiya Republic Buryatiya Republic

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Chitinskaya Oblast Chitinskaya Oblast Chitinskaya Oblast

For more details on fire in the Russian Federation:

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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