Earth is burning!

This amazing satellite image shows the extent of forest fires in Siberia as of August 10th. Click on the image to see the full size version of the photo, complete with red outlines showing the actual footprint of the fires.

A Google Earth KML file shows all the fires in Russia over a 48 hour period. (click the pic to see it bigger)

When I recently learned that someone I know might be working in Russia, I began looking up the geography of Moscow and environs on Google Earth.As you probably know, Russia is suffering through an extended heat wave and drought at the moment which is fueling massive forest fires. While poking around on the net for more information, I happened upon this University of Maryland site that provides up-to-date global fire information. You can download Google Earth KML files that show the extent of fires in any region on earth over a 48 hour period.

Additionally, their web fire map reveals that besides the massive burns in Russia, huge tracts of South America and Africa appear to be either ablaze or recently burned. The UofM site aggregates information and images from several agencies including the NASA Earth Observatory site to build a frightening picture of the extent of the fires currently burning world wide. However, while the situation is quite serious… the size of the Google Earth fire symbols are grossly out of proportion to the actual footprint of the fire… thank goodness!

Hopefully some of the record rains hitting other parts of the world will start migrating towards these hot spots and we can cool down!

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