As in the western United States and northern Canada, Russia is ablaze. On July 11, 2012, more than 25,000 hectares (97 square miles) of forests were burning, according to the Russian Federal Forestry Agency. Most of the fires-uncontrolled wildfires in boreal forests-were in central and eastern Siberia.
Fires had engulfed 10,500 hectares in Krasnoyarsk, 6,300 hectares in Tomsk, and 2,400 hectares in Yakutia. Yugra, Sakhalin, and Khabarovsk also had large fires burning.
The Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on NASA's Aqua satellite captured this image of fires burning in Yakutia on July 10, 2012. Thick smoke billowed from numerous wildfires near the Aldan River and blew to the north. Red outlines indicate hot spots where MODIS detected unusually warm surface temperatures associated with fires.
Smoke from large wildfires in Siberia can be lofted high enough into the atmosphere for winds to push the plumes across the Pacific Ocean to North America. On July 8 and 9, 2012, smoke from Siberia arrived in British Columbia, Canada, and caused ground-level ozone to reach record high levels.
On July 6, NASA Goddard Space Flight scientist Jon Ranson-who is in the midst of a field expedition in Siberia-observed the fires firsthand during a flight between St. Petersburg and Krasnoyarsk. He described the scene onthe blog he's using to chronicle the expedition:
"We left St. Petersburg near sunset, with the sun low on the horizon. Smoky sunsets create very red skies, and the colors were pretty spectacular. It reminded me of the sunsets I saw just a few weeks ago when I visited Greely, Colorado. I was close to the High Park fire, and the sky was an amazing, blazing orange at sunset. That was only one fire, however. Dozens, or maybe hundreds, colored the sky on July 6 as we passed above the smoke. We flew over a huge, curving river of thick smoke. It truly looked like a river flowing, I think, generally north to south."
Siberia Burns : Image of the DayOn June 18, 2012, a total of 198 wildfires burned across Russia and had charred an area that covered 8,330 hectares (32 square miles). Ma...
NASA - Satellite Sees Smoke from Siberian Fires Reach the U.S. CoastFires burning in Siberia recently sent smoke across the Pacific Ocean and into the U.S. and Canada. Images of data taken by the nation's ...