In the United States, such a large conflagration occurred in some places that the hot air currents create their own weather forecast, with the risk of lightning igniting new areas.
Serious fires in Russia are also raging in a relatively sparsely populated area: northeast Siberia. However, there is also a lot of nuisance there. Dozens of towns and villages were covered in smoke, including Yakutsk, the capital of the Yakutia region.
Oregon and Siberia are both located in the so-called boreal zone, with evergreen trees as far as the eye can see. They are old virgin forests with many branches and withered leaves at the bottom. One well-targeted lightning strike can set things on fire. Because these are often remote and hard-to-reach places, firefighters are often not on site in time to prevent the blaze from turning into a massive forest fire.
Climate-smart forest management
“Forest fires are naturally common in this boreal zone,” explains Gert-Jan Nabuurs, professor of European forests at Wageningen University and lead author of the IPCC climate panel. He is also co-author of a study on the relationship between climate change and forest fires in Russia. In recent years, forest fires have increased dramatically, from an average of 1 to 2 million hectares per year in Russia in the 1990s, to 5 to 6 million hectares of forest fires today. . Higher temperatures due to global warming contribute to this. This is extremely disturbing and no one has a good answer for it. Climate-smart forest management is also virtually impossible in these large areas.
Meteorologists saw mercury in Siberia rise to average temperatures in June 10 degrees higher than normal is for this month. Extreme temperatures have also occurred recently in other parts of the north. In the Canadian village of Lytton, for example, it hit nearly 50 degrees Celsius in early July. In the ensuing forest fires, residents barely managed to escape. The village has turned into a conflagration that has become a symbol of the consequences of climate change. KNMI researchers, among others, have calculated that the extreme heat in Canada is almost impossible to explain without human global warming.
Forest fires in the US state of Oregon as seen from space.