Smoke from Russian wildfires touches the US west coast

Blog Post created by faithberry Employee on Apr 23, 2015


According to International Strategy for Disaster Reduction Website April 16th , during the first weeks of April, areas of Siberia in Russia suffered from multiple wildfires.  It was difficult to view the scenes of devastation on the website. 

Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on NASA's Terra satellite
Picture of current wildfires in Russia from the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on NASA's Terra satellite

According to the web article Forest Fires in the Russian Federation , “Russian farmers routinely set fire to dry grass to clean fields after the winter, sometimes accidentally sparking blazes that result in loss of life and damage to homes. During the first weeks of April 2015, grassfires have ravaged across the Siberian regions of Russia, killing 26 people and injuring almost a thousand. The combination of temperatures reaching 25°C (about 77° F) and high winds have fueled the fires that have destroyed buildings and killed livestock.”


Fires-Siberia-Ilya Naymushin Rueters
A family displaced by wildfires walks past the rubble of homes. Photograph by Shyra Ilya Naymushin Rueters

Russia also suffered from severe wildfires in 2010 due to an extreme heatwave.  The smoke from the wildfires of burning peat bogs in central Russia at that time caused smoky conditions for Moscow. 

According to an earlier article published April 14th, by USA Today about these wildfires, Siberian Wildfires kill 23, leave 5,000 homeless, “Regional Governor Viktor Zimin estimated it would cost $94 million to rebuild. “This fire would not have happened if people were not playing with matches,” Puchkov's deputy, Alexander Chupriyan, said in a statement. "And it wasn't children, but adults."

The wildfire in Russia has caused devastation to their Siberian communities, but according to the Weather Channel the smoke from the wildfires across the ocean reached the west coast over the weekend. According to the Weather Channel and NASA images, the smoke created hazy conditions in Washington State on the 17th of April and reached Oregon and California on the 18th and 19th. 

The blue, green and yellow colors show the aerosols associated with the smoke over the north Pacific Ocean April 16-17, 2015. (NASA)