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Large Outbreak of Fires near Yakutsk, Russia

Large Outbreak of Fires near Yakutsk, Russia

NASA’s Terra satellite observed many fires burning in northern Sakha, a Russian province in northeast Asia. These true-color scenes were acquired by the Moderate-resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on July 19, 2001, in two consecutive overpasses occurring at 2:40 and 4:15 UTC. (MODIS also acquired these views of the fires in the Yakutsk and Sakha regions of Russia on July 20, 2001.)

During the summer months in the Northern Hemisphere, many fires are ignited in the boreal forests of Canada and Russia by lightning striking the surface. (For more details, please read Evolving in the Presence of Fire.) The red boxes in these scenes show the locations of the forest fires. The greyish pixels are the thick smoke plumes produced by the flames. Notice how the smoke plumes are thicker in the second scene as wildfires generally intensify in the afternoon. The green hues are the various tree and plant species comprising the thick canopy of the boreal forest.

Image courtesy Jacques Descloitres, MODIS Land Rapid Response Team