Large, smoky fires are raging through forests in northeastern Russia.
Following record-breaking heat and drought in northeastern Russia, hundreds of intense wildfires are now burning through taiga forests in Siberia.
The Visible Infrared Imaging Radiometer Suite (VIIRS) on Suomi NPP acquired this natural-color image of large clouds of smoke enveloping the Republic of Sakha (Yakutia) on July 5, 2021. Satellite data indicates that several small fires burned intermittently in the area for weeks, but several exploded in size during the last week of June.
According to Sakha’s emergencies ministry, more than 250 fires were burning across roughly 5720 square kilometers (2,210 square miles) of land on July 5—an area about twice the size of Luxembourg. While regional authorities report extinguishing dozens of fires per day, they call the situation “difficult” and will likely be battling large fires for weeks. Thick smoke has occasionally enveloped Yakutsk, the largest city (population 312,000) in Sakha, and other settlements in the region.
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Image via NASA Earth Observatory