Copernicus russia wildfires

Arctic hotspots from Siberia Wildfires seen from space as Russia burns

Russian wildfires devastating several areas in Siberia have been spotted from space, with two thermal hotspots in the Arctic detected by NASA’s Aqua satellite.

On Twitter, Mark Parrington, senior scientist at the European Center for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts, said the first high-latitude thermal hotspots of the year were detected in the Sakha Republic on Wednesday. He Explain that while the NASA satellite images were unclear, there was a “strong possibility” they were linked to the wildfires.

Russia is hit by wildfires every year, with the season normally peaking between June and August. Recent years have seen extreme heat waves and prolonged droughts that have led to unprecedented wildfires, with 2021 becoming the worst on record in Russian history.

This year, fires broke out around mid-April. On Tuesday, Russian state news agency Tass said around 4,000 wildfires had been reported so far this year. Images shared by an English-language newspaper The Siberian era showed widespread devastation, with streets of burning buildings.

Russian President Vladimir Putin met with local governors on Tuesday to discuss the issue, saying federal funds had been allocated to prevent wildfires after the 2021 devastation. According to, he asked them: “Resources are allocated – are you using them? “

According to a report in the Washington Post on April 26, when wildfires had already been raging in the east of the country for a week, experts had raised concerns that Russia’s invasion of Ukraine would make this season much more difficult to control. Mark Cancian, senior adviser to the international security program at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, told the newspaper that the Russian military would normally assist firefighters during the wildfire season.

“There is no doubt that Ukraine has been a huge drain on Russia’s land resources,” he said. “They moved a lot of troops out of the country. All the troops that come back are pretty beaten up. It’s going to be harder to fight [the fires].”

parrington said Newsweek thermal anomalies detected with satellites show that surface temperatures are much higher than they should be, indicating the presence of a heat source.

“Isolated hot spots have been observed in this region in May for the past few years, typically in areas where snow cover has begun to recede,” he said.

“These hotspots are of concern because they likely indicate that as soon as the ground thaws, the flammability of the fuel/vegetation is high and ready to burn when an ignition source exists.”

An image from the Copernicus Sentinal 2 satellite shows a fire about 40 miles west of Novokievskii Uval, Amur, on May 10.
Copernicus Sentinel 2022 data

Images from the European Union’s Copernicus Earth observation satellite also show fires burning on the ground.

It’s unclear how long these fires will last and whether 2022 will be another banner year. “It’s hard to say at this time if this provides any indication of what may be happening in terms of wildfires in this area for the remainder of the summer,” Parrington said.

According to RIA Novosti, 20 people died as a result of the forest fires. Russian media reports that the latest wildfires were caused by faulty power lines, with dry grass providing the fuel needed to spread the fire. According to Moscow timethree employees of the Rosseti Sibir electricity company have been charged with manslaughter.

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