Service Objective

The service is primarily developed to assist ministries of environment within the participating SADC member states to effectively manage their wild fire activities. The service is based on the MESA Wildfire Station, which features the AFIS Fire Terminal application developed by CSIR-Meraka institute in South Africa.

The MESA wild fire station (fig below), which comprises a EUMETCast antenna and a PC for data acquisition and processing, has been developed for institutions and users that require near real time earth observation fire information, but has limited or no Internet access is limited. The Wildfire Station enables the user to pre-define the type of vegetation fires and areas to be alerted to e.g. rangeland, forest, agricultural land.

Components of the wildfire Station

Components of the wildfire Station

Service Description

The Wildfire Service consists of three main components:

  1. Prediction of fires (Before a fire)
  2. Detection/Monitoring of fires (During a fire) and
  3. Assessment of fire damage fire (after a fire)

These components (before, during and after the fire) provide Ministries of Environment with the information to develop effective Fire Information Management plans. The products generated and distributed by the Wildfire service can be used to:

  • Define the fire season
  • Assess the likelihood of fire occurring
  • Determine fire suppression response and resources
  • Issue or cancel burn permit
  • Plan and conduct controlled burning, etc

The Wildfire service includes a capacity building component which is aimed at training users of the Wildfire Service in the interpretation, use and generation of Wildfire bulletins in support of informed decision making.

Fire service training package

Fire service training package

One of the key service outputs generated by the Wildfire service is the regional Wildfire bulletin

Key users of the service

The primary (Key-Users) of this service are national fire management units, usually located within Ministries of Environment at National level and the SADC Food, Agriculture and Natural Resources directorate in the SADC Secretariat at a Regional level. In most of the SADC Member State multiple departments are dealing with Wildfires e.g. the Department of Forestry and Rangeland, Department of Tourism, Department of Wildlife.

There are many potential secondary users that can benefit from a Wildfire Monitoring Service, such as District Counsels, Ministries of transport, Police and Wildfire brigades, Weather services, the National Television, Civil-protection agencies, farming communities, Disaster Units and even Electricity Distributors.

Product catalogue

Product Spatial coverage Temporal Resolution  
1 FP01: MODIS Active Fire product Southern Africa 6 hours
2 FP02:  Definition of MSG-ABBA Active Fire (FIR) product Global 15 minutes
3 FP03: Burned Area products Southern Africa 1 month
4 FP04: Canadian Fire Weather Index Southern Africa 1 day
5 FP05: Lowveld Forest Fire danger index Southern Africa 1 day
6 FP06: Modis Daily true colour composite Southern Africa (Country Mosaics) 1 day

The Wildfire Service products are primarily distributed to users automatically via EUMETCAST . The EUMETCAST system is a multi-service data dissemination system based on standard Digital Video Broadcast (DVB) technology, which is also used to distribute satellite television. It uses commercial telecommunication geostationary satellites to multicast files (data and products) to a wide user community. The MESA website ( is used as a backup dissemination platform.

For more information:

Tel: +2673612205

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