Russian Wildfires Blaze on an Area Larger than Los Angeles

By Tom Yulsman | May 5, 2014 1:01 pm
The images that comprise this mosaic of a large portion of Russia were captured on Monday, April 5 by NASA's Terra satellite. Red dots mark areas where a sensor on the spacecraft detected fire.

The images that comprise this mosaic showing a large portion of Russia were captured on Monday, April 5 by NASA’s Terra satellite. Red dots mark areas where a sensor on the spacecraft detected fire. (Source: NASA)

With geopolitical fires continuing to smolder between Russia and Ukraine, actual wildfires have erupted across a vast swath of territory to the east.

You can spot the Russian wildfires in the mosaic of satellite images above showing a large portion of the country as it looks from space today. Each red dot marks a spot on the ground where a sensor on NASA’s Terra satellite has detected fire.

More than 100 fires are burning today on 140,471 hectares, which is equal to 542 square miles, according to The Voice of Russia Radio. That’s half again as large as the City of Los Angeles.

Fires are burning in the Irkutsk region, the Omsk region, near Lake Baikal, and other areas.

Smoke plumes from fires burning in the Irkutsk region are visible in this image captured by NASA's Terra satellite on Monday, May 5, 2014. Areas where a sensor on the spacecraft detected fire are marked with red dots. (Source: NASA)

Smoke plumes from fires burning in the Irkutsk region are visible in this image captured by NASA’s Terra satellite on Monday, May 5, 2014. Areas where a sensor on the spacecraft detected fire are marked with red dots. (Source: NASA)

Voice of Russia Radio attributes most of the fires to “negligence of local residents and agricultural burnings.”

Map of global temperature anomalies for March. (Source: NASA/GISS

Global temperature anomalies for March. (Source: NASA/GISS

But the risk of wildfire has no doubt been increased by warm temperatures that have gripped much of Russia for many months. March was particularly warm across a vast swath of territory.

Click on the thumbnail at right to see how temperatures in March departed from the long-term average around the globe. The big, dark, red blob over Russia stands in stark contrast to the colder-than-average temperatures experienced across a portion of North America. (For the record, March was the fourth warmest on record globally.)

Temperatures in the city of Irkutsk continued to run well above average for April as well, according to AccuWeather.

 

CATEGORIZED UNDER: Environment, select, Top Posts, Wildfire
  • Andrew

    VOR also attributes dry thunderstorms as being an ignition source.

    • Tom Yulsman

      Thank you for this Andrew. These fires are very dramatic, and I’ve been wondering where all these ignition sources could be — particularly in areas that are remote from human settlement.

  • http://www.mazepath.com/uncleal/qz4.htm Uncle Al

    Wildfires burn contemporary photosynthetic carbon, as does fuel ethanol. Wildfires create sustainable environments in all ways the Carbon Tax on Everything can demand payment.

    • Leslie Graham

      Nice try.
      The fires are also burning deep down into the peat below now that the perma-frost is thawing.

      • http://www.mazepath.com/uncleal/qz4.htm Uncle Al

        All photosynthetic carbon is equal, but some is more equal than others for cap and trade. Studies must be done to decide what C-14 content defines fuel as fossil. Many studies.

  • Drturi DrTuri

    Try Dr. Turi 2014 Arian Draconis predictions about fires, blood and wars, simply unarguable! http://www.drturi.com/hitlers-spirit-upon-germany/

    • Andrew

      And Dr. Turi’s work has been Peer reviewed? A load of hullaballoo!

      • Drturi DrTuri

        My work is not for the feeble minded sorry…

        • Andrew

          That does not answer the question, where has your work been Peer reviewed? You claim to have received a 1993 metaphysical “Doctorate” from the Progressive Universal Life Church in Sacramento, anyone can recieve semi-immediate ordination free of charge, did they charge you for your ministerial credentials? There is no such academically accredited award from any legitimate Institution as a Doctorate in “Asropsychology” it is a quack term you invented for yourself.

          There exists the potential for wildfires in the outlying Chernobyl district such as the Prypyet marshes, what contingency plans are being utilised to offset innate toxicity release from these forests?……your “astropsychology” may come up trumps with an answer!

  • Drturi DrTuri

    How to start a very successful business on the Internet – http://www.drturi.com/how-to-start-a-very-successful-business-on-the-internet/

  • Drturi DrTuri
  • Drturi DrTuri

    sexual predators everywhere.. ​Cop, rabbi, scoutmaster among arrests in child porn bust! http://www.drturi.com/sexual-predators-cop-rabbi-scoutmaster-among-arrests-in-child-porn-bust/

  • http://www.drturi.com Drturi DrTuri
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ImaGeo

ImaGeo is a visual blog focusing on the intersection of imagery, imagination and Earth. It focuses on spectacular visuals related to the science of our planet, with an emphasis (although not an exclusive one) on the unfolding Anthropocene Epoch.

About Tom Yulsman

Tom Yulsman is Director of the Center for Environmental Journalism and a Professor of Journalism at the University of Colorado, Boulder. He also continues to work as a science and environmental journalist with more than 30 years of experience producing content for major publications. His work has appeared in the New York Times, Washington Post, Audubon, Climate Central, Columbia Journalism Review, Discover, Nieman Reports, and many other publications. He has held a variety of editorial positions over the years, including a stint as editor-in-chief of Earth magazine. Yulsman has written one book: Origins: the Quest for Our Cosmic Roots, published by the Institute of Physics in 2003.

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