Wednesday, 14 November 2001: 8:20 AM
Spatial Distribution of Fire Season and ENSO Effects on the Island of Sumatra, Indonesia
South East Asian countries have experienced several serious haze events related to forest and land fire problems during the past decade. These events caused great concern for human health and had significant economic impacts. In addition to anthropogenic factors, climate has been attributed as a major influence on smoke and haze events. In particular, the El-Nino Southern Oscillation (ENSO) has been linked to droughts which have resulted in serious fire problems. In order to develop prevention and mitigation strategies to deal with these critical time periods, there is a need to better understand the regional effects of the ENSO phenomenon on fire weather and burning conditions. In this study, we examined fire weather, as represented by several fire danger rating indices, on the Island of Sumatra during the period of 1994 to 2000. Daily surface weather data obtained from the National Climatic Data Centre were used to spatially calculate the fire danger rating indices. The seasonal variability of these fire danger rating indices in different parts of the island was examined. The variability of the effect of ENSO on fire weather in different regions was also examined. The data were summarized to provide fire climate zone maps for Sumatra. Results of the fire weather analyses and the influence of ENSO on fire weather are presented and discussed.