Fivefold growth of forest fires in Siberia

A handout picture made available by NASA of a map showing land surface temperature anomalies from 19 March to 20 June 2020 (issued 24 June 2020). Red colors depict areas that were hotter than average for the same period from 2003-2018; blues were colder than average. The map is based on data from the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on NASA's Aqua satellite. Eastern Siberia is famous for some of the coldest wintertime temperatures in the Northern Hemisphere. But in 2020, it has been the region's wildly high temperatures and wildfires that have wowed meteorologists. After several months of warm weather, the Russian town of Verkhoyansk reported a daytime temperature of 38 degrees Celsius on 20 June. EPA-EFE/NASA HANDOUT

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Russia’s forest fire aerial protection service says forest fires in Siberia have grown nearly fivefold over the past week.

The fires come amid a notable heat wave in parts of the sprawling region. A high temperature of 38 degrees Celsius (100.4 F) was reported a week ago in the town of Verkhoyansk,. If the reading is confirmed, it would be the hottest day ever recorded in the Arctic.

According to figures reported Saturday by Avialesookhrana, Russia’s agency for aerial forest fire management, 1.15 million hectares (2.85 million acres) were burning in Siberia in areas that cannot be reached by firefighters.

The worst-hit area is the Sakha Republic, where Verkhoyansk is located, with 929,000 hectares (2.295 million acres) burning.

Read more via AP

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