Latest satellite image from fires burning in Borneo and Sumatra:
Smoke from agricultural and forest fires burning on Sumatra (left) and Borneo (right) in late September and early October 2006 blanketed a wide region with smoke that interrupted air and highway travel and pushed air quality to unhealthy levels. This image from the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on NASAs Aqua satellite on 1 October 2006, shows places where MODIS detected actively burning fires marked in red. Smoke spreads in a gray-white pall to the north.
AQUA 1 October 2006
Despite a governmental ban on open burning, seasonal fires continue to occur on the Indonesian islands each year, peaking in the dry season of late summer and early fall. Slash-and-burn deforestation to clear land for farming or other agriculture still takes place, and fires escape from already cleared land into adjacent forest. The swampy forests of the low-lying parts of these islands sit on thick layers of peat (un-decayed vegetation), which is extremely flammable when it dries out. The peat is exceptionally smoky when it burns.
Fires continued to burn on the Indonesian island of Sumatra on 4 October 2006. The fires have been burning for weeks, filling the skies with thick smoke that has interrupted air and road travel in the region.
AQUA 4 October 2006
This image of southern Sumatra was captured by the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on NASAs Aqua satellite.
Thick smoke hung over the island of Borneo when the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on NASAs Terra satellite passed overhead on 5 October 2006. The sensor detected scores of fires (locations marked in red) in the Kalimantan province of Indonesia, and smoke billowed northward over the Malaysian part of the island, as well.
TERRA 5 October 2006
The fires occur annually in the dry season (August-October), caused mainly by land-clearing and other agricultural fires. Some of the blazes will only be extinguished when the monsoon rains start in upcoming weeks.
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.