The Russian Air Defense Service for Forests announced that it is still trying to quell 136 fires that extend over an area of 43 thousand hectares, by stimulating clouds and using explosives.
The Russian Air Defense Service for Forests announced on Saturday that it is still trying to quell 136 fires spread over an area of 43 thousand hectares, by stimulating clouds and using explosives.
The agency said that the intensity of the fire subsided this week, but added that most of the hotspots are very remote, and suppressing them is very expensive along the huge forests in Siberia, which is recording record temperatures this summer.
According to the Russian Air Forestry Protection Service, 159 fires burned 333,000 hectares, larger than the area of Luxembourg, and it continues in areas where Russian firefighters' efforts have been disrupted.
But the numbers are declining, as the agency last week reported more than two million hectares of burning, equivalent to half the size of Switzerland, according to what was quoted by "AFP".
Siberia has been experiencing unusually high temperatures since January, in addition to low soil moisture, which led to new fires after the fire engulfed the region last year, according to the European Copernicus Service specializing in climate change.
Since mid-June, fires have increased in northeastern Siberia, and less so in Alaska, according to Copernicus, causing 59 megatons of carbon dioxide to be released into the atmosphere, a record for this month since the measurements began in 2003.
In addition to using explosives to contain the flame, the Russian Air Protection Agency for Forests indicated that it was trying to stimulate rain by artificially exploiting clouds.
The regions in the Great North and behind the Arctic Circle recorded record temperatures.
On June 20, Russian meteorological services recorded 38 ° C in Verkhoyansk, behind the Arctic Circle, the highest temperature since the start of the record measurements at the end of the nineteenth century.
For his part, Director of the Russian Meteorological Center, Roman Villefande, told reporters at the end of June that the biggest problem is the hurricanes, which are difficult to anticipate and cause high temperatures and the intensity of the sun, which is "one of the results of climate change."
Satellite imagery shown on Saturday showed that major fires are still burning in Yakutia (Eastern Siberia), a huge area on the border of the Arctic Ocean.
The region declared a state of emergency on July 2 due to the fires, and local civil defense agencies said they had fought for most of the week on fire over a fuel storage site.
For its part, the Greenpeace watchdog in Russia, using data collected via satellite, announced that 9.26 million hectares, more than the area of Portugal, had been affected by fires since the beginning of the year.
The environmental organization condemned the underfunding of the agency responsible for forestry, making it unable to provide adequate fire protection.