Satellites reveal an unusually far north wildfire in Siberia

The blaze was spotted burning in tundra southwest of Lena River delta on Sunday.

By Thomas Nilsen, The Independent Barents Observer - June 21, 2021
A satellite image shows a fire burning southwest of the Lena River delta in the Russian Arctic. (EU Commission Directorate-General for Defence Industry and Space via The Independent Barents Observer)

Observers using satellite photos spotted a wildfire burning unusually far north in the Russian Arctic on Sunday.

The EU Commission Directorate-General for Defence Industry and Space (DG DEFIS) published a satellite image of the fire in the border areas between the Taimyr Peninsula (Krasnoyarsk Krai) and the Sakha Republic in northern Siberia, that showed flames spreading over a large area on the tundra southwest of the Lena River’s delta on the Arctic Ocean

“This is, to date, the northernmost wildfire detected in the Polar Circle by the Sentinel satellites in 2021,” a tweet from the agency said.

There is an abnormally high number of wildfires in Siberia this June, and parts of the northern regions are recording temperatures more than 15 degrees Celsius hotter than normal.

This will be the third year in a row that Russia’s Arctic region suffers from huge blazes.

However, the wildfire now discovered by the European Union’s Earth observation program with the help of Sentinel satellites is exceptionally further north than seen in the previous two years.

Dry summers and high temperatures are the main reason for the increasing number of wildfires blaze across Siberia and Russia’s Far East.