GFMC: Forest Fires in the Russian Federation

Forest Fires  in the Russian Federation  

5 August 2009

Intense fires burning in the boreal forests of northern Russia,Alaska, and Canada darkened Northern skies with smoke in July 2009. Large fires were burning in both Russia and Alaska in late July, and this image tracks the smoke from those fires by illustrating the concentration of carbon monoxide in the atmosphere.

The image was made with data collected by the Measurements of Pollution in the Troposphere (MOPITT) sensor on NASA’s Terra satellite between 20 July and 26 July 2009. Spots of red show where carbon monoxide concentrations were high, while orange areas point to moderate concentrations. Gray regions indicate places where no measurements were made, probably because of persistent clouds. The highest concentrations of carbon monoxide are centered over large fire complexes in Russia. Fires in Alaska were also pumping carbon monoxide into the atmosphere.

Carbon monoxide is a component of smoke that can be tracked long after the smoke has dispersed enough to no longer be visible. Carbon monoxide helps reveal where smoke’s other invisible fine particles and polluting gases end up. These invisible particles and gases, including carbon monoxide, are ingredients in the production of ground-level ozone, a harmful pollutant.


GFMC analysis: According to the latest satellite-derived analysis provided by the Sukachev Institute for Forest (Krasnoyarsk) the total area burned by 5 August in the Russian Federation is 14 417 528

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 5 August 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 (5 August 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  4 August 2009 a total of 70 fires affected 877 ha forested and 156 ha non-forested lands, 28 fires of them were reported as new fires. Through all of Russia 880 people, 24 aircraft, 136 bulldozers, tractors and engines have been involved in fire fighting. Since the beginning of the 2009 fire season a total of 19,067 fires affected 1,157,694 ha forested and 465,789 ha non-forested lands of the Forest Fund of Russia .

Most fires have been reported in the following regions:

  • Magadan region – 12;
  • Yamalo-Nenezkiy region – 9;
  • Kamchatka region – 8.

There are large fires in following regions:

  • Magadan region – 1 fire,burning area 350 ha and 80 ha non-forested lands;
  • Kamchatka region – 1 fire,burning area 200 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)

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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  5 August 2009 (selection):

click to enlarge (40-50 KB) click to enlarge (40-50 KB) click to enlarge (40-50 KB) Evreyskaya oblast Evreyskaya oblast Irkutskaya 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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