Nearly 300 wildfires in Siberia –  Firefighters are using explosives and seeding clouds with silver iodide

 

Freakishly warm weather across large swathes of Siberia since January, combined with low soil moisture, have contributed to a resurgence of wildfires that devastated the region last summer, the European Union’s climate monitoring network said this week.

Both the number and intensity of fires in Siberia and parts of Alaska have increased since mid-June, resulting in the highest carbon emissions for the month—59 million tonnes of CO2—since records began in 2003, it said.Russia’s Aerial Forest Protection Service said it was trying to suppress 136 fires over 43,000 hectares (430 square kilometres) as of Saturday.

Firefighters are using explosives to contain the fires and seeding clouds with silver iodide to encourage rain, it said.However 159 other fires have been deemed too remote and expensive to handle, with over 333,000 hectares currently ablaze in areas where firefighting efforts have stopped, it said.

The area currently burning is still considerably smaller than a week ago, when the service reported fires over a total of two million hectares.From mid-June, regions in Russia’s northern Siberia, including beyond the Arctic circle, have registered unprecedented heat records.

Source: Nearly 300 wildfires in Siberia amid record warm weather