Fires in Tibet

Tibetbush forests aflame for 9 days

9January 2006

China has deployed about 1,300 people, including fire-fighters and armed police in Tibet to stamp out a major forest fire at the foot of Mount Qomolangma (Mt Everest) in the Himalayas. The blaze has been burning for 9 days and has destroyed bushland in Tibet’s Tingri county.

Firefighting efforts have been hampered by strong winds and a lack of water sources in the mountainous area.

The fires were put out on Thursday after two days of fighting but the gales were strong enough to revive any sparkles in the forests. Consequently the fires were dispersed at the steep mountain slopes and valleys embedded in snow-covered mountains.

The fire occurred about 50 kilometers from Mount Qomolangma  with a fire front of almost 15 kilometers of forests in length, and about four kilometers away from some virgin forests in a natural reserve around Mount Qomolangma.

Latest MODIS scenes showing the fire in Tibet

9 January 2006
04:50 UTC

click on image for a 250 m resolution

This image captured by the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on NASA’s Terra satellite on 9 January 2006, shows the Himalaya mountain range dotted with active fires (red dots).

See also other fire events in the Himalaya region:

For more information on the use of fires and wildfires in the Himalayas see:

Schmidt-Vogt, D. 1990. Fire in high altitude forests of the Nepal Himalaya. In: Fire in ecosystem dynamics. Mediterranean and northern perspectives (J.G. Goldammer and M.J. Jenkins, eds.), 191-199. SPB Academic Publ., The Hague, 199 p.

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