On the Indonesian island of Sumatra, the low-lying, eastern plain is home to swampy forests whose floors are covered with a thick layer of peatdead, but not decayed vegetation that is often submerged in the wetter parts of the year. Large tracts of this forest have already been cleared for timber and agricultural activities, and the remaining forests are subject to intense human pressures. Fires are a common occurrence late in the year on the island. In the dry season, forest fires often start from agricultural fires that escape control. The fires burn not only trees and above-ground vegetation, but also dried-out peat, creating massive amounts of haze.
AQUA 27 September 2006
This image from the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on NASAs Aqua satellite on 27 September 2006, shows scores of fires (locations marked with red dots) burning in southeastern Sumatra. The islands largest city, Palembang, is shrouded in haze, which spreads in a thick white cloud to the north.
The high-resolution image is provided at MODIS maximum spatial resolution (level of detail) of 250 meters per pixel
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 surface winds 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 updated maps generated by NOAA-AVHRR showing active land-use fires and wildfires in Brunei and the Indonesian and Malaysian provinces on Borneo Island (website currently not functioning).
Latest fire overview map for Borneo: 15 December 2004 (Source: IFFM Fire Maps)
Fire Activity Monitoring in South Sumatra
The South Sumatra Forest Fire Management Project (SSFFMP) provides regular fire activity maps based on the products of the MODIS Rapid Response System.
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 of fire intensity. Information from the Initial Spread Index (ISI) and Build Up Index (BUI) is combined to provide a numerical rating of fire intensity. This index is used to indicate the difficulty of fire control based on the head fire 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 this week (left) and the predicted FWI total for next month (right) for the Western Pacific (1-3) and the Pacific Ocean (4-6) regions. The weekly total forecast and the monthly forecasted total refer to 00:00 hrs UTC, which is local noon at dateline (180° longitude). Forecast time is 12:00 hrs noon UTC (Greenwich) corresponding to local evening time in mainland and insular SE Asia. (Source: ECPC Fire Weather Index Forecast)
WWF Fire Bulletin for South East Asia
The World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) has resumed the periodic publication of the Fire Bulleting a weekly information on fire, haze, and related issues in Indonesia.