Slash-and-burn forest clearing and open cropland burning on the Indonesian island of Sumatra and in the Kalimantan portion of the island of Borneo are blanketing the region with a pall of haze that has delayed air travel and prompted government officials to distribute gas masks to island residents, according to various news reports. This Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) image shows the polluted air across Sumatra (left) and Borneo (right) on September 7, 2004. Actively burning fires have been marked with red dots, and a pall of grayish smoke hangs over the region.
A Sumatran environmental officer was quoted in the news as reporting that the level of ash, dust and other particles in the air on September 5 and 6 reached 395 and 350 micrograms (a microgram is a millionth of a gram) per cubic metermore than three times the safe level of no more than 100 micrograms per cubic meter. In some places visibility is only a few hundred meters.
From July through October, people have traditionally used fire to clear forest land for planting and to clear away the previous year’s crop stubble to make ready for the new planting season. However, after a devastating burning season associated with a severe El Niño in 1998 destroyed millions of square kilometers of forest, the government has been trying to crack down on the illegal burning with the help of regional governments. The policies have been difficult to enforce, and the problem returns each year.
NASA image by Jesse Allen, based on data from the MODIS Rapid Response Team, NASA-GSFC
I. Monitoring of Smoke-Haze and Active Fires (land-use fires and wildfires)
Regional Smoke-Haze Monitoring
The Meteorological Division of the Singapore National Environment Agency provides a daily updated map showing active fires (land-use fires, wildfires), smoke haze and surface wind directions within the South East Asian region.
Latest map of surfacewinds and smoke haze/hot spots observed over cloud-free areas.
Latest regional active fire (hotspot) maps:
Forecast of winds and surface pressure for the South East Asian Region:
Other Regional NOAA and GOES Satellite Images:
Update of Regional Weather and Smoke Haze for the last Month:
Fire Activity Monitoring in Borneo (Kalimantan, Sabah, Sarawak)
Latest fire overview map for Borneo: 04 September 2004
(Source: IFFM FireMaps)
Fire Activity Monitoring in South Sumatra
The South Sumatra Forest Fire Management Project provides regular fire activity maps based on the products of the MODIS Rapid Response System: http://www.ssffmp.or.id/ssffmp/fwi-2.asp?id=2
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 ANDES website. The map below shows the last fire map of mainland SE Asia(Thailand, Myanmar, Lao, Cambodia, Viet Nam).
LastANDESfire location map of mainland South East Asia.
The map is generated on the basis of two satellite sensors (NOOA-AVHRR,DMSP/OLS).
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 (CFS) and the Malaysian Meteorological Service (MMS), supported by the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA). Daily updated SEA Fire Danger Rating can be downloaded on the following website of MMS, and background information on the project can be found at the SEA FDRS Project website.
Latest example of a SEA FDRS product:
The Fire Weather Index (FWI) values shown on the map are numerical ratings offire intensity.
Information from the Initial Spread Index (ISI) and Build Up Index (BUI) iscombined to provide a numerical rating of fire intensity.
This index is used to indicate the difficulty of fire control based on the headfire intensity and fire fighting capability.
Information on the Indonesian Fire Danger Rating System (Indonesian FDRS) is provided by the Indonesian Bureau of Meteorology and Geophysics (BMG) in Jakarta. The site provides information for fire managers working to prevent and control vegetation fires and smoke in Indonesia. This link points to the English version; a Bahasa Indonesian version can be found there as well: http://www.bmg.go.id:8080/fdrs/index_e.html.
The GFMC displays selected and daily updated global andAsia-Pacific Experimental Climate 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.
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 Danger Rating for East Kalimantan generally is MODERATE.
– No Hotspot Detected during this week.
– No Land or Forest fire occurences reported by District/municipalities
– The Readiness Level for East Kalimantan is NORMAL.