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Classification of Active Fires and Weather Conditions in the Lower Amur River Basin

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Most wildland fires in boreal forests occur during summer, but major fires in the lower Amur River Basin of the southern Khabarovsk Krai (SKK) mainly occur in spring. To reduce active fires in the SKK, we carried out daily analysis of MODIS (Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer) hotspot (HS) data and various weather charts. HS data of 17 years from 2003 were used to identify the average seasonal fire occurrence. Active fire-periods were extracted by considering the number of daily HSs and their continuity. Weather charts, temperature maps, and wind maps during the top 12 active fire-periods were examined to clarify each fire weather condition. Analysis results showed that there were four active fire-periods that occurred in April, May, July, and October. Weather charts during the top active fire-periods showed active fires in April and October occurred under strong wind conditions (these wind velocities were over 30 km h−1) related to low-pressure systems. The very active summer fire at the end of June 2012 occurred related to warm air mass advection promoted by large westerly meandering. We showed clear fire weather conditions in the SKK from March to October. If a proper fire weather forecast is developed based on our results, more efficient and timely firefighting can be carried out.

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