An extreme drought on the Kamchatka Peninsula in eastern Siberia has led to a series of major fires. Landsat satellite data, collected and processed by the U.S. Geological Survey, are being used by regional resource managers and fire fighting officials to monitor the extent of the fires and conditions of affected vegetation.

A Landsat image acquired on September 7, 2009 shows the area before the fires. The dark tone in the lower left is the Penzhinskaya Guba. Rivers flow into it and, eventually, the Sea of Okhotsk. The green tones represent vegetation cover, the light tones, clouds.

A July 16, 2010 image shows a major burn in the low lands. The dark tone is burned area, the light blue, smoke.

The August 1, 2010 image shows the expanded burned areas and additional fires in the lower right portion of the image. By early August an area over 30 miles wide had been burned.

Landsat data are providing useful perspectives for monitoring conditions as Siberian agencies fight the massive burns.

JPG name: 
TIF name: 
IG Sort Date: 
Tuesday, August 10, 2010