NASA satellites register 371 hotspots in Russia
Two NASA satellites registered a total of 371 hotspots across Russia on Sunday, according to the ScanEx website that receives information from the satellites, RIA Novosti reported.
The number of hotspots across Central Russia has substantively shrunk, Nadezhda Pupysheva, spokeswoman for the ScanEx company, said. The decrease in the number of hotspots identified is partially due to cloud coverage in several Russian regions, she added.
The Aqua satellite, equipped with an atmospheric infrared sounder, and Terra, equipped with a thermal emission and reflection radiometer register any hotspots across Russia, but from 40% to 80% of the hotspots registered are real fires, Pupysheva said.
Fined weather in Siberia has allowed the satellites to register a total of 103 hotspots in the Russia's Yakutia Republic, compared with 5 just a day earlier, Pupysheva said.
A scorching heat wave has gripped much of European Russia since mid-June, which coupled with the worst drought since the 1970s has made the countryside particularly susceptible to wildfires.
Thousands of emergency workers and military personnel have been working round the clock for almost three weeks to fight the fires in 22 regions, which have so far left over 3,500 homeless. The immediate economic cost of the fires has been estimated at $15 billion.