August 19, 2010 - Smoke and fires across western Russia

Smoke and fires across western Russia

A long veil of haze and smoke stretches hundreds of kilometers across western Russia and Kazakhstan on August 13, 2010, the day this true-color image was captured by the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) aboard the Terra satellite as it passed overhead. The image is a composite of three images which have been blended to show a wide view of the region.

A scattering of several red hotspots can be seen in the Ural Mountains, located in the north central section of this image. Here, large plumes of smoke blow due south from the northernmost hotspots, merging with the more southerly band of smoke that extends to the Caspian Sea. Another cluster of hotspots lie in the mountains north of Nizhny Novgorod. Here the thick bands of smoke blow to the southwest.

Throughout western and central Siberia, the numbers of red hotspots appear markedly diminished from images captured on previous days. However, additional hotspots, most without visible smoke, appear in northern Kazakhstan. Reports of soaking rains in some areas of Russia on the night of August 12 may have helped firefighting efforts reduce the number of blazes in the region.

According to the Sukachev Institute of Forest, as of August 13, the Moscow Region had lost 43,718 hectares (189 square miles) to fire, 94,950 hectares (367 square miles) in the Vladimir Region, and 300,047 hectares (1,158 square miles) in the Nizhny Novgorod Region. They also report the total acreage burned in the Russian Federation up to this date is 15,688,855 hectares (60,575 square miles).

Image Facts
Satellite: Terra
Date Acquired: 8/13/2010
Resolutions: 1km ( B), 500m ( B), 250m ( B)
Bands Used: 1,4,3
Image Credit: Jeff Schmaltz, MODIS Land Rapid Response Team, NASA GSFC