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In this report the distribution of active fires in mainland Southeast Asia and southern China was determined using advanced very high resolution radiometer (AVHRR) 1 km resolution satellite data from the 1992-93 dry season. Thirty images were analysed over the 6 month dry season (November to April). Distinct spatio-temporal patterns in fire activity are seen throughout the region, both geographically and between ecosystem types. Most fire activity (69%) was in the last two months of the dry season (March-April). This late dry season fire activity is mostly accounted for by increases in the incidence of fire within closed and fragmented evergreen forest, a situation that may reflect shifting cultivation practices. Non-forest fires account for 30% of all fires, occurring predominantly during the early and mid dry season (November-February) and may be associated with crop residue burning, grassland fibes and savanna woodland fires. The limitations of AVHRR data for fire detection and the influence of climate and topography on the spatio-temporal distribution of fire are discussed.

Additional information

Authors: JONES S H, JRC Ispra (IT)
Bibliographic Reference: EUR 17282 EN (1997) 48pp., FS
Availability: Available from the Public Relations and Publications Unit, JRC Ispra, I-21020 Ispra (IT), Fax: +39-332-785818
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