Up to 90 taiga wildfires burned in the Far East of Russia on June 29, 2012. According to the ITAR-TASS news agency, the fires had burned more than 2,000 hectares (8 square mile) over the course of a day.
The Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on NASA’s Terra satellite captured this image of the fires on June 29, 2012. Thick smoke blankets the northern portion of Khabarovsky Krai and is visible blowing west toward Sakhalinskaya and the Pacific Ocean. The red outlines indicate hot spots where MODIS detected the unusually warm surface temperatures associated with fires.
Russian firefighters have battled uncontrolled fires for months. According to the environmental group Greenpeace, more land in Russia has burned this year than in 2010, a year during which intense wildfires affected western Russia.
It isn’t uncommon for smoke from large wildfires to be lofted high enough into the atmosphere that winds push plumes of it all the way across the Pacific Ocean to the United States.
NASA image courtesy Jeff Schmaltz, LANCE MODIS Rapid Response. Caption by Adam Voiland.