Fires in the eastern part of Russia continued to burn throughout September, 2012. By mid-September the Sukachev Institute of Forest, Russian Academy of Science reported that more than 17,000 large Russian wildfires had burned more than 115,625 square miles (299,467 square kilometers) this year. That's an area roughly the size of Arizona.
Compare that to last year when only 77,220 square miles (200,000 square km) burned, which is about average for the last decade.
Christine Wiedinmyer, a scientist at the National Center for Atmospheric Research in Boulder, CO, used satellite measurements to determine that Russian wildfires produced more carbon monoxide this year than any year since 2003. Wildfires produce about half of all carbon monoxide in the atmosphere, according to NASA.
This true-color satellite image was collected by the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) aboard the Aqua satellite on September 23, 2012. Actively burning areas, detected by MODISís thermal bands, are outlined in red.