Wildfires – Siberia

Wildfires in Russia’s Far East and Siberia swelled by 3,600 ha to 16,700 ha over the past 24 hours, the Russian Aerial Forest Protection Service reported on Friday.

“The major increase occurred in the Magadan Region – in one day the wildfire area grew 43-fold from 40 ha to 1,700 ha. In the Amur Region the wildfires grew from 1,700 to almost 2,000 ha, and in the Irkutsk Region – from 4,000 to 5,200 ha,” the service said.

Wildfires – New Mexico, USA

Eleven wildfires are burning in New Mexico as of Thursday. The state Department of Health issued a smoke advisory for northern parts of the state.

Air Pollution From Wildfires Much Worse Than Previous Estimates

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Particle pollution from wildfires, long known for containing soot and other fine particles known to be dangerous to human health, is much worse than previously thought, a new study shows.

Naturally burning timber and brush from wildfires release dangerous particles into the air at a rate three times as high as levels known by the EPA, researchers at Georgia Tech found.

Scientists sampled air quality by flying planes directly into thick plumes from three major wildfires, including the 2013 Rim Fire, the largest wildfire in the Sierra Nevada. Previous EPA data was based on plume samples from controlled burns. Greg Huey is the study’s lead author.

“Under the conditions of the prescribed fires, it seems like you can get a smaller impact on air quality, So I think an extrapolation is that if you had more prescribed burning you might prevent some wildfires and in the process of doing that you would also probably help air quality issues,” Huey says.

The study also found wildfires spew methanol, benzene, ozone and other noxious chemicals.



Wildfires – Siberia

Wildfires raging through Siberia have swelled by more than 2,000 ha over the past 24 hours engulfing 9,200 ha, the Russian Aerial Forest Protection Service reported on Wednesday.

The Irkutsk Region and the Transbaikal Territory are among the worst-hit areas, according to the service.


Wildfires – Siberia

Forest fires raging through Siberia’s Trans-Baikal Region have more than doubled in one day from 1,200 hectares to 2,700 hectares, the regional Natural Resources and Ecology Department reported today.

“On Monday morning, there were five blazes in the region scorching a total of 1,300 hectares, while four more blazes engulfing 288.5 hectares had been contained. In addition, two forest fires are raging on the Russian Defense Ministry’s territory of 40 hectares, and one fire covering 1,000 hectares has been contained. There is no danger to any communities,” the statement said.

The main culprit for the fires, according to the regional department, is human activity, whereas they keep spreading because of a higher daytime temperature and powerful winds. A total of 447 people, including 160 paratroopers, and 78 military vehicles are engaged in the fire-fighting operations.

The conflagration worsened in some Siberian regions last week. Blazes broke out in 10 communities in the Krasnoyarsk and Irkutsk Regions, consuming 179 buildings in their path that were home to 720 people, six economic facilities and 15 non-residential facilities. Three people lost their lives as the blazes tore through the Krasnoyarsk Region. The Trans-Baikal Region has been placed under a state of emergency restricting access to forests, or entering them in any vehicles.



Wildfires – Siberia

More than 500 people have lost their homes in large-scale wildfires sweeping across Russia’s Krasnoyarsk Region on Thursday. According to verified data, fires destroyed 130 houses in the Krasnoyarsk Region, leaving 533 people, including 67 children, homeless. The death of two people has been confirmed,”


Wildfires – Siberia

The total area engulfed by wildfires in Russia’s Siberia has grown to 1,800 hectares, with most the fires reported from the TransBaikal Territory, the Russian Aerial Forest Protection Service reported on Thursday.

“Forest fires in Siberia are raging on an area of about 1,800 hectares. Most of the wildfires are reported from the TransBaikal Territory (1,100 hectares). The area consumed by wildfires in the Irkutsk region stands at about 550 hectares, in the republic of Tuva – 70 hectares, and in the Tomsk region – 43 hectares,” the service said.


Wildfires – Siberia

Some 3,700 populated localities in Siberia have been saved from wildfires thanks to efforts of firefighters and rescuers, Sergei Menyailo, the Russian president’s envoy to the Siberian Federal District, told TASS on April 29.

Most typical cause of wildfires is mishandling of fire, he added. The situation is complicated by hot and windy weather.

A state of emergency has been imposed in the entire Siberian Federal District over ongoing wildfires. The most serious situation is in the Irkutsk region and the Republic of Buryatia where about 100 dwelling houses have been burnt down to the ground in fires.


Wildfires – Siberia

Rescuers have managed to save all the residents of a Russian village before the settlement located on an island in Irkutsk Region burned to the ground. The spread of wildfires across Siberia has prompted authorities to declare a state of emergency.

Hundreds of people were trapped in the village of Bubnovka surrounded by water as a massive fire was ripping through their homes. Luckily for some 435 residents, local Emergencies Ministry staff were conducting anti-flood drills in the area and rapidly reacted to the incident. Responding the distress call, they rushed to the scene to evacuate the villagers. Using an air cushion rescue boat, the responders brought people to safety. No one was harmed.

At least 59 buildings in the village ultimately burned down. It is believed that the fire was started by a local resident burning trash.



Wildfires – Florida, USA

A wildfire in southwest Florida triggered evacuation orders for about 2,000 homes on Friday, prompting the governor to deploy National Guard troops to help residents fleeing the flames.

The wildfire has charred about 4,800 acres (1,942 hectares) in Collier County and forced residents to evacuate their houses in the Golden Gate Estates area of Naples, Clark Ryals, a senior forester for the Florida Forest Service, said by telephone. The blaze was only 10 percent contained.

Nine homes were destroyed by the fire, Ryals said at a news conference later on Friday evening. One person suffered minor injuries in the fire.

Large wildfires and major flooding as Siberia faces a spring that’s both dry and wet

Rising temperatures and strong winds are fuelling an increase in wildfires. Worst-hit regions are TransBaikal, Kemerovo region and Omsk along with the Republic of Buryatia. Space monitoring spotted 23 ‘hot spots’ across 6,800 hectares.

Many of the fires were sparked by the illegal burning of hay, an annual problem. But peat fires in Buryatia are posing a serious threat, says Greenpeace, which claims the authorities are turning a blind eye. Alexey Yaroshenko, head of the forestry department at the campaigning group, said: ‘Large wildfires in drained peat bogs are active again in the Kabansky district of Buryatia. The largest wildfire covers, according to preliminary information, about 500 hectares in a peat bog close to Bolshaya Rechka village.

Further west the problem was excess water.

A village in Novosibirsk region was reported to be submerged. Private houses close to the Ob have been hit by rising water levels. Some residents were building makeshift dams to protect their homes.

Global Warming

Climate change unfreezes 200,000-year-old ‘doorway to hell’

Siberia’s enormous “hellmouth” crater in the melting permafrost is growing fast — and it’s opening a portal to a 200,000-year-old world.

The Batgaika crater, known to the local Yakutian people as the “doorway to the underworld,” is one of the largest of a growing number of pits collapsing across the Siberian landscape as the ice beneath the surface turns to slush — and methane gas.

But this crater in particular offers some form of a silver lining.

It’s revealing eons of climate change in the region, along with long-buried animal carcasses and petrified forests.

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Reindeer Cull in Siberia

The rise of anthrax from the permafrost this summer in Siberia, plus the risk of overgrazing has prompted officials on the Yamal Peninsula of Siberia to plan a mass cull of 250,000 reindeer by years end, according to a Siberian Times report.

Over the summer some 2400 reindeer died from the bacterial infection, anthrax, in three separate outbreaks which is believed due to an infected animal from decades ago that was thawed during the warmer temperatures this year in Siberia. The anthrax outbreak also affected dozens of nomads in the region and killed one young boy.

The government is not only concerned about the spread of disease, but they also state that the 730,000 reindeer population is too much to be sustainable.


Wildfires – Siberia

Wildfires happen every summer, but the especially warm northern summer of 2016 has been particularly bad for wildfires (as was 2015). As months-long wildfires still burn in California, the boreal forests of eastern Russia are burning, too, with numerous blazes since July, according to the European Space Agency (ESA). This image is from ESA’s Copernicus Sentinel-3A satellite, taken September 14. It shows smoke billowing from a string of fires northwest of Lake Baikal in Siberia. These huge smoke plumes stretch over 1,600 miles (2,000 kilometres), nearly half the distance across the contiguous U.S. (from Florida to Washington is 2,802 miles, or 4,500 km).

Siberia blanketed in smoke node full image 2


NASA satellite spots dozens of Russian wildfires

NASA’s Terra satellite recently spotted a cluster of wildfires burning in Siberia.

The small red outlines seen in the photograph mark spikes in surface temperature sensed by MODIS, a sign of flames. Terra was able to make out several dozen fires and their plumes from an altitude of 440 miles.

NASA satellite spots dozens of Russian wildfires


Wildfires rage in Siberia and Russian Far East

Warming weather has unleashed a wave of forest fires, with the Republic of Buryatia, and regions TransBaikal and Amur badly hit. In one day alone 10,000 hectares of forest in the Russian Far East was burned down, with dozens of homes lost.

The scale was less than in Canada’s dramatic fires, but is a reminder of the grave threat annually facing many Russian regions. Head of the Federal Forestry Agency Ivan Valentik blames people for much of the carnage.

‘99% of all fires in the Amur region, the Trans-Baikal region and Buryatia are caused by people who set fire to grass,’ he said. He warned that the tradition of burning dried grass ahead of the sowing season – popular since Soviet times – is now against the law.

In Amur region 11 houses were destroyed by fire and 50 people evacuated in Zarechnaya Sloboda village. Some 200 homes were saved by emergency teams. Other houses were lost near Progress and Malinovka villages.

On May 10 the situation worsened because of strong winds – up to 20 metres per second, igniting homes in a matter of minutes, with 27 people left homeless.

In Buryatia the area of wildfires increased in 1.5 times to 11 May with some 18,800 hectares burning. At one point, fires threatened the republic’s capital Ulan-Ude. In TransBaikal region some 11,000 hectares were aflame.

During the long May holidays holidays, fires came close to Buryatia settlements 14 times, and the area of wildfires increased 10 times.