GFMC: Forest Fires in the Russian Federation

Forest Fires  in the Russian Federation

25 Jul 2003

GFMC analysis: According to the latest satellite-derived analysis the total area burned by 24 July 2003 in the Russian Federation is 21.82 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 – 6.91 million ha

– Buryatiya Republic – 4.93 million ha

– Amurskaya Oblast – 2.79 million ha 

During the last week the situation in the region calmed down due to favourable weather. Widespread cloud cover in the regions around Lake Baikal do not allow to receive complete satellite images.

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

Latest satellite Image:

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Fires in Siberia
Summer is fire season all across the Northern Hemisphere. Scores of fires (marked in red) were burning across eastern Siberia on 22 July 2003, and were detected by the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) sensor on the Terra satellite. Images from recent days have shown plumes of smoke from these fires stretching across the Bering Sea (right) and reaching Alaska.

Source: NASA EO


Location of large forest fires in Russia for 23  July 2003

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This map is providing an overview of large fire locations in the Russian Federation. Details of fire locations reported by the regional airbases of Avialesookhrana and active fires detected by the MODIS sensors (on Terra and Aqua) are provided on two layers over a general Russian vegetation map – see:

Source: Avialesookhrana, Pushkino


Fire danger map for 25 July 2003 for the Central Siberia:

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Source: Sukachev Institute for Forest, Krasnoyarsk


Synoptic weather map for 25 July 2003 for the Russian Federation.

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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), 21 July 2003

Still pretty well large fire burning in Buriatia and Chita regions. It have continue increasing fire activities in Far East, beginning from Magadan and Kamchatka in the North ending in Vladivostok in the Sourth, including Iakutia.  It have increasing fire activities in the North of European part.

According to the situation report of the Ministry of Natural Resources of 17 July 2003 a total of 462 fires affected 7,060 ha forested and 1,696 ha non-forested areas. 74 fires of them were reported as new fires. In addition 13 fires occurred that were put out the same day when they started.

Since the beginning of the 2003 fire season a total of 19,603 fires affected 1,669,144 ha forested and 330,205 ha non-forested land under the responsibility of the Ministry of Natural Resources. (For comparison: Last year up to this date 18,754 fires had burnt 558,765 ha forested and 303,274 ha non-forested lands.)

Most fires have been reported in the following regions:

  • Arkhandelsk-13 fires

  • Karelia-13

  • Murmansk-10

  • Krasnoiarsk-7

  • Irkutsk – 62

  • Buriatia – 72

  • Chita  – 81

  • Iakutia-38

  • Khabarovsk-54

  • Sakhalin-17

  • Primorje-16

  • Magadan-33

  • Kamchatka-18


Large fires were reported in:

  • Chita region – 47 fires, the biggest is 18,650 ha. 23 of them are contained.

  • Irkutsk –15 fires, the biggest is 760 ha.

  • Buriatia -24 fires, the biggest is 1,100 ha.

  • Khabarovsk-19 fires, the biggest is 4,370 ha.

  • Sakhalin-8 fires, the biggest is 5,350 ha.

  • Primorje-11 fires, the biggest is 3,000 ha.

  • Kamchatka-11 fires, the biggest is 2,400 ha.

Through all of Russia 5,631 people, 74 aircraft, 861 bulldozers, tractors and engines have been involved in fire fighting.

Source: Aerial Forest Fire Protection Service of Russia (Avialesookhrana), prepared at GFMC by Mr. Yevgheny Shuktomov.

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  25 July 2003 (selection)

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Respublika Buryatiya Irkutskaya Oblast Irkutskaya Oblast

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Primorskiy Kray Primorskiy Kray Respublika Sakha 

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Respublika Sakha  Respublika Sakha  Respublika Sakha 

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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