GFMC: Forest Fires in the Russian Federation

Forest Fires  in the Russian Federation  

31 May 2006

GFMC analysis: According to the latest satellite-derived analysis provided by the Sukachev Institute  for Forest (Krasnoyarsk) the total area burned by 30 May  in the Russian Federation is 9 949 190 hectares (ha).
Note: The area burned includes all vegetation types (forest and non-forested land on the whole territory of the Russian Federation). For current fire statistics on forest lands of the Federal Russian Forest Fund compiled by Avialesookhrana see report below.

Fires in Russia and China near the Amur River

Huge forest fires raged across Russia’s Amur region and China’s Heilongjiang region on 30 May 2006. The border between the two countries is made by the Amur River (Heilong Jiang), and massive, smoky fires were burning on both sides. In this image from the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on NASA’s Aqua satellite, the locations of actively burning fires that MODIS detected are marked in red. Huge columns of smoke spread from many of the fires. Dark, charcoal-colored patches show the areas burned. Vegetation is green, and bare (or sparsely vegetated) ground is tan.

30 May 2006

(source: EarthObservatory)

According to reports from the Russian news agency ITAR-TASS, forest fire activity in spring 2006 has been much greater than it was in 2005. Thirteen hundred fires broke out in the last week of May alone, with emergency crews able to put out about half of them in a day.

The high-resolution image provided above has a spatial resolution (level of detail) of 250 meters per pixel.

Fire danger map for  30 May 2006 for Eastern Siberia:

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.

click to enlarge (360 KB)

Latest (29 May 04:00 GMT) NOAA 12&14 AVHRR composite
The red squares indicate regions of active fires (MODIS Detection). 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)

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

Fire situation report of  the Aerial Forest Fire Protection Service of Russia (Avialesookhrana), 29 May 2006

According to the wildfire situation report of 29 May 2006 of the Federal Forest Agency of Russia a total of 174 fires affected 5,692 ha forested and 2,781 non forested lands, 45 fires of them were reported as new fires. In addition 91 fires occurred that were put out the same day  they have started.

Since the beginning of the 2006 fire season a total of  13,256 fires affected 314,701 ha forested and 282,547 ha non-forested lands of the Federal Forest Agency. (For comparison: Last year up to this date 4,131 fires have burnt 45,546 ha forested and 17,235 ha non-forested lands.)

Most fires have been reported in the following regions:

  • Chita – 36
  • Irkutsk – 24
  • Khabarovsk – 22
  • Amurskaya obl – 34

Through all of Russia 2,654  people, 40 aircraft, 566 bulldozers, tractors and engines have been involved in fire fighting.

Source: Aerial Forest Fire Protection Service of Russia (Avialesookhrana), prepared for GFMC by Nastya Svideteleva

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 May 2006 (selection):

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Amurskaya obl. Amurskaya obl. Amurskaya obl.

More maps of other regions are available on request:

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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