The Times of Tanzania
Eastern Africa News Network

NASA: Tanzania Hotspot for Wildfires in Africa

Tanzania is currently the ‘hottest’ hotspot for wildfire outbreak according to the global map released by the Fire Information for Resource Management System.

The Fire Information for Resource Management System (FIRMS) operates under the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA).

NASA is America’s civil space program and the global leader in space exploration.

According to Fire Information for Resource Management System, Tanzania is where fire outbreaks or possibility of future fire outbreaks are being detected mostly.

The FIRMS satellite map image shows Tanzania in mostly red dotted hotspots, making the country more susceptible to flames than any other area in Africa.

So far Mount Kilimanjaro, located in Northern Tanzania has been experiencing series of such outbursts in 2020 and 2022 respectively.

Uhuru peak of Kilimanjaro is the highest point on the African Continent.

From Mount Kilimanjaro to Ruaha National Park

The Ruaha National Park, in the Southern Parts of the country also experienced fire outbreaks during the drought periods of 2022. Ruaha is the second biggest National Park in Tanzania after Nyerere.

Other wildlife outbreak were recently reported on Mount Kitumbeine in Monduli and parts of Babati District according to reports from villagers near the affected areas.

The rains that fell between March and May 2023 brought an end to many such wildfires.

Hot weather spell has been taking toll on the country in the months of August, September and November, where rivers and other water sources were drying up at an alarming rate in the last two years.

Tanzania is however not alone. Wildfire have also erupted on Mount Longonot an active volcano in the Naivasha parts of Kenya.

NASA FIRMS uses satellite observations from the MODIS and VIIRS instruments to detect active fires and thermal anomalies and deliver this information in near real-time. FIRMS was originally developed by the University of Maryland, with funds from NASA’s Applied Sciences Program and the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (UN FAO). It was transitioned to NASA LANCE in 2012.

The Fire Information for Resource Management System distributes Near Real-Time (NRT) active fire data from the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectro-radiometer (MODIS) aboard the Aqua and Terra satellites.

It also displays data and the Visible Infrared Imaging Radiometer Suite (VIIRS) aboard S-NPP and NOAA 20 (formally known as JPSS-1).

Tanzania, Africa and Global data are however available within 3 hours of satellite observation, but for the US and Canada active fire detections are displayed in real-time.

According to the global mapping, the other fire hotspot is Madagascar. You can view the interactive map here

Previously Reported: Fire breaks out on Africa’s highest summit

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