Wildfires burning large swaths of Russia are generating so much smoke, they’re visible from space, new images from NASA’s Earth Observatory reveal.
Since June, more than 100 wildfires have raged across the Arctic, which is especially dry and hot this summer. In Russia alone, wildfires are burning in 11 of the country’s 49 regions, meaning that even in fire-free areas, people are choking on smoke that is blowing across the country.
The largest fires — blazes likely ignited by lightning — are located in the regions of Irkutsk, Krasnoyarsk and Buryatia, according to the Earth Observatory. These conflagrations have burned 320 square miles (829 square kilometers), 150 square miles (388 square km) and 41 square miles (106 square km) in these regions, respectively, as of July 22.
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