GFMC: Forest Fires in the Russian Federation

Forest Fires  in the Russian Federation  

22 May 2011

The Far East of Russia is currently affected by drought, strong winds and high wildfire risk. Wildfires continue to burn in Yakutia.

MODIS (Aqua) satellite image of fires burning in Yakutia on 22 May 2011 (resolution: 250m).
Source: NASA satellite image repository (selected and interpreted by GFMC)

False colour satellite image (MODIS Aqua, 250 resolution) showing areas recently affected by wildfires and wildfires burning in Yakutia in the early afternoon of 22 May 2011. Source: NASA satellite image repository (selected and interpreted by GFMC)

Fire danger map for May for Eastern Siberia:

Source: Sukachev Institute for Forest, Krasnoyarsk

Eurasian Experimental Fire Weather Information System
The system has been developed by forest fire researchers from Canada, Russia and Germany has been 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:

Latest Experimental Fire Weather Index (FWI) map for Eurasia (today)
Note: The components of the Fire Weather Index and the meteorological data below are updated daily at ca. 15:00 GMT/UTC by the Northern Forestry Centre, Canada. In the list below the latest maps (including the FWI) can be downloaded. These maps will provide the information at the date of clicking on the link.

Fire Weather Index Components Meteorological Data Fine Fuel Moisture Code (FFMC) Precipitation Duff Moisture Code (DMC) Relative humidity Drought Code (DC) Temperature Initial Spread Index (ISI) Wind direction Buildup Index (BUI) Wind speed Fire Weather Index (FWI)


Latest Situation Updates of the Aerial Forest Fire Centre of Russia
Wildfire situation report of the Aerial Forest Fire Centre of Russia Avialesookhrana on 15 May 2011

According to the wildfire situation report of 15 May 2011 a total of
205 fires affected 3718 ha forested and 1391 ha non-forested lands.
130 fires of them were reported as new fires.
An except 139 fires were put out the same day they have been discovered.

Through all of Russia 5024 people, 64 aircraft, 923 bulldozers, tractors and engines have
been involved in fire fighting.

Since the beginning of the 2011 fire season a total of 6842 fires
affected 125351 ha forested and 65329 ha non-forested lands of the Forest Fund of Russia.

Most fires have been reported in the following regions:
Sverdlovsk region – 31
Krasnoyarsk region – 21
Saha republic – 23
Buryatia republic – 17

Source: Aerial Forest Fire Center of Russia (Avialesookhrana), prepared for GFMC by Andrey Usachev. 

Satellite-derived fire information
Avialesookhrana provides also up-to-date satellite images for the Russian Federation and neighboring territories.

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Latest (22 May 2011 15:00 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.
(Source: Avialesookhrana cloudiness maps)

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.

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:


Latest maps maps showing fire activities of  20 May 2011 (selection):


Kemerovo Region Tomsk Region Krasnoyarsk Kray

More maps of other regions are available on request: 

From the Media


Severe forest fires in Russia’s Siberian provinces

Severe forest fires were burning in Russia’s Siberian provinces with firefighters battling blazes in isolated mountain or steppe terrain, Russia’s Ministry of Emergency Situations (RMES) said in a Friday statement. Two regions – the Yakutia province and districts near the Amur River in Russia’s Far East – were the hardest hit, according to RMES satellite imagery. More than 7,000 firefighters had deployed to sometimes extremely remote regions to battle more than 450 blazes currently burning in tundra, forest, and plains terrain. The fires covered an aggregate area of 66,000 square hectares, or 660 square kilometres, the Interfax news agency reported.

Most of the fires been ignited by lightning and at present no areas of human settlement appeared threatened by flames, according to the report. Russia’s massive Siberian region contains one of the world’s largest woodlands. Fires are common during Spring and early summer as drying timber or steppe grass is struck by lightning from thunderstorms. Fires can ignite hundreds of kilometres from the nearest roads or railways, making firefighter response difficult and at times impossible.
Source: Interfax

Russian fire fighters head to Far East
Russia’s Emergencies Minister Sergey Shoygu has sent fire fighting planes, including Il-76 multi-purpose airlifter, to the country’s Far East to combat wild and peat bog fires, the ministry’s spokeswoman reports.

Russia is now seeing peat bog fires increasing in number and already spreading over 45,000 ha. The worst situation is in Yakutia, Sverdlovsk, Amur and Khanty-Mansiysk regions.


Recent Media Reports on Fires in the Russian Federation

        For more reports see GFMC Media page:

Background on Wildland Fires 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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