West of where the myriad channels of the Ganges River flow into the Bay of Bengal, numerous fires were burning in Bangladesh, India, and Myanmar on April 4, 2005. This image of the area on that day was captured by the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on NASAs Aqua satellite. Locations where MODIS detected actively burning fires are outlined in red.
The image, which is centered farther west than previous images in this series, focuses closely on scores of fires burning in India, just across the southeastern border of Bangladesh. In the large version of the image, fires are scattered across a wide portion of all three countries. Many of the fires are emitting large plumes of smoke, which drifts eastward.
MODIS cannot tell us specifically whether a fire is naturally occurring or caused by humans. However, the region’s monsoonal climate is wrapping up its dry phase, which is typically a time for agricultural burning. In addition, Southeast Asia is experiencing one of its worst droughts in decades, which may be elevating the risk of both accidental and natural wildfires. The fires detected by MODIS, therefore, may be a mixture of both types of burning.
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. (Source: http://app.nea.gov.sg/cms/htdocs/article.asp?pid=1195)
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.
Latest fire overview map for Borneo: 15 December 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
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.
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)