GFMC: Forest Fires in the Russian Federation

Forest Fires  in the Russian Federation

30 Juli 2003

GFMC analysis: According to the latest satellite-derived analysis the total area burned by 30 July 2003 in the Russian Federation is 21.84 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 Images:

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Fires in Siberia
Dozens of fires were raging across Siberia on 25 July  2003, and were detected by the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on the Terra satellite. Marked with red dots, the fires are creating a blanket of smoke, which in recent days has caused airports in the region to close due to lack of visibility. The high-resolution image provided above is 500 meters per pixel. The MODIS Rapid Response System provides this image at MODIS’ maximum spatial resolution of 250 meters.

Source: NASA/ EO

Location of large forest fires in Russia for 25 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 30 July 2003 for the Central Siberia:

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Source: Sukachev Institute for Forest, Krasnoyarsk

Synoptic weather map for 30 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)


Lightning data collected from 27 July 2003 16:00 p.m. through 28 July 2003 03:00 a.m. (Moscow times = GMT + 4 hrs). Red dots are more powerful strikes and blue one are less.

Source: Avialesookhran and Technologies of Monitoring and Safety (TMS).

Latest fire situation report by the Aerial Forest Fire Protection Service of Russia (Avialesookhrana), 28 July 2003

Fire activities in Chita, Buriatia, Irkutsk region slow down pretty well. Good rains past over those territories.  But still it is strong for Khabarovsk, Primorie and Sakhalin regions. According to the situation report of the Ministry of Natural Resources of 27 July 2003 a total of 417 fires affected 10,300 ha forested and 1,195 ha non-forested areas. 88 fires of them were reported as new fires. In addition 34 fires occurred that were put out the same day when they started.Since the beginning of the 2003 fire season a total of 20,511 fires affected 1,738,747 ha forested and 345,536 ha non-forested land under the responsibility of the Ministry of Natural Resources. (For comparison: Last year up to this date 20,335 fires had burnt 600,475 ha forested and 315,669 ha non-forested lands.)

Most fires have been reported in the following regions:

Chita – 15
Buriatia – 25
Irkutsk – 28

Large fires were reported in:

Karelia –3 fires, the biggest is 300 ha.
Chita region – 8 fires, the biggest is 5,770 ha. All of them are contained.
Irkutsk –7 fires, the biggest is 1,700 ha.
Buriatia- 12 fires, almost all of them are contained.
Iakutia-10 fires, the biggest is 7,250ha.
Khabarovsk-29 fires, the biggest is 4,700 ha.
Sakhalin-11 fires, the biggest is 5,350 ha.
Primorje-12 fires, the biggest is 3,000 ha.
Kamchatka-10 fires, the biggest is 2,400 ha.
Magadan-4 fires, the biggest is 5,100 ha.

Through all of Russia 4,714 people, 95 aircraft, 770 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  30 July 2003 (selection)

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Respublika Sakha Respublika Sakha Respublika Sakha

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Tomskaya Oblast Magadanskaya Oblast Magadanskaya Oblast

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Krasnoyarskiy Kray Krasnoyarskiy Kray Khabarovskiy Kray

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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