GFMC: Forest Fires in the Russian Federation

Forest Fires  in the Russian Federation  

13 May 2009

Fires Across West Siberian Plain

Scores of fires were burning across the West Siberian Plain in central Russia on 10 May 2009, when the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on NASA’s Aqua satellite captured this natural-color image. Fire locations are outlined in red. The lake-dotted, steppe landscape near the city of Omsk, along the Irtysh River, is a major wheat-growing area in Russia, and most of the fires have probably been set by people for clearing farmland or pasture. The extreme smokiness of a few of the fires in the north-central part of the image may indicate that they have escaped from their intended location and are burning into surrounding grassland or other natural vegetation.

10 May 2009

The large image provided above is at MODIS’ maximum spatial resolution (level of detail) of 250 meters per pixel.

(source: earth observatory)

Latest NOAA image

Smoke from numerous fires burning in southern Russia is captured by this NOAA-18 satellite image on May 11 as seen below.

IMAGE D6140: NOAA-18 <> Image Type=combine <> 5/11/2009 04:30 UTC.



GFMC analysis: According to the latest satellite-derived analysis provided by the Sukachev Institute for Forest (Krasnoyarsk) the total area burned by 13 May in the Russian Federation is 9 961 555 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.


Fire danger map for 13 May 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 (13 May 9:00 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)

According to the wildfire situation report of 07 May 2009 a total of  240 fires affected 21,998 ha forested and 5,166 ha non-forested lands,126 fires of them were reported as new fires.
Through all of Russia  5,205 people, 30 aircraft, 1,170 bulldozers, tractors and engines have been involved in fire fighting.
Since the beginning of the 2009 fire season a total of 7,577  fires affected 210,072 ha forested and 143,369 ha non-forested lands of the Forest Fund of Russia .
Most fires have been reported in the following regions:

  • Repablic Buryatia – 20;

  • Zabaykalskiy region – 34;

  • Primorsk region – 78.

There are large fires in following regions:

  • Zabaykalskiy region –11 fires,burning area 2,923 ha and 215 ha non-forested lands;

  • Primorsk region – 31 fires,burning area 9,666 ha.

Source: Aerial Forest Fire Center of Russia (Avialesookhrana), prepared for GFMC by Eduard Davidenko and Sadovskaya Raisa


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)

click to enlarge (29 KB)

Map legend

Administrative boundaries


Overview map showing large fire locations detected over the last 10 days

click here to enlarge (561 KB)


Latest maps maps showing fire activities of  13 May 2009 (selection):

click to enlarge (40-50 KB) click to enlarge (40-50 KB) click to enlarge (40-50 KB) Buryatia Zabaikalski Kray Omskaya 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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