Russian fires unstoppable in abnormal heat-

Russia blames fires on global warming. Moscow hits 100 degrees. New York Times. By John Collins Rudolf.

Russia moves rockets as wildfires spread. Associated Press.

Meanwhile summer forest fires are a bit below normal in the western United States, although air is getting is typical August haze or worse in many places. Numerous soaking thunderstorms have washed over southern and central Utah and Colorado, Arizona.

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About The Author

Ralph Maughan

Dr. Ralph Maughan is professor emeritus of political science at Idaho State University. He was a Western Watersheds Project Board Member off and on for many years, and was also its President for several years. For a long time he produced Ralph Maughan's Wolf Report. He was a founder of the Greater Yellowstone Coalition. He and Jackie Johnson Maughan wrote three editions of "Hiking Idaho." He also wrote "Beyond the Tetons" and "Backpacking Wyoming's Teton and Washakie Wilderness." He created and is the administrator of The Wildlife News.

9 Responses to Mass forest fires overwhelm part of Russia

  1. Peter Kiermeir says:

    Many fires are smouldering dry peat, creating that dense smoke, intense smell and almost zero visibility. Friends tell me, that life is almost unbearable now in Moscow. It is not only the climate change! They draines most of their swamplands and the dry peat is now an excellent fuel, almost impossible to extinguish when on fire.

    • Save bears says:

      If I am not mistaken, isn’t there some bogs in Europe that have been burning for decades?

    • Peter Kiermeir says:

      I think these are not peat fires but coal seams burning below the surface. They can burn for hundreds of years and are a problem around the globe, especially in Russia, China, Ukraine, etc. I guess there are a few in Pennsylvania also. It is said, one is Australia is burning for 6000 years now. Another one, here in Germany, is known since 1668 (and still smouldering).

    • WM says:


      Also some in Colorado, in the next major drainage west (Crystal River), of the posh celebrity ski town of Aspen. There were a bunch of them burning, at least there were thirty years ago, and there would be no reason for them to stop burning.

      Nothing like a little coal smoke to flare the nostrils.


      The smoke from wildfires (550 of them with 40 around Moscow), and oppressive heat in Centraol Russia and cities like Moscow, is said to be responsible for as many as 700 deaths per day {LA Times 8/10}. Average daily temperatures are about 10-15 degrees F higher than the usual which runs about 70-73 degrees F range.

  2. WM says:

    Don’t know if anyone has looked or is looking into this, but if alot of land burns leaving once green landscapes now black that can increase solar heat gain – Example, ever walk through a mountain burn area on a hot summer day and then back into the forest, where it is at least ten-fifteen degrees cooler?

    Think of this on a grand scale if tens or hundreds of millions of acres burn.

    Do these blackened burned surface areas adversely affect or increase heat sink, and does the combustion from fires, wherever they occur, appreciably add to carbon dioxide emissions?

    • Peter Kiermeir says:

      A single value I found instantly: It is estimated that peat fires in Indonesia, where rain forests are burned to prepare the land for oil palm plantations, produced 900 000 000 metric tons of CO2 in 2006.

    • pointswest says:

      Forests hold snow on the ground much longer into the spring or summer since they shade the snow. They retain the moisture in the soil since they shade the ground. I’ve heard (not sure if it is true) that they tend to absorb infrared radiation rather than reflect/radiate it so that when clouds move over a forest, they cool and are more likely to rain.

  3. Daniel Berg says:

    According to the WWF, there is a single peat bog in Siberian Russia that is roughly the size of France and Germany combined. They are afraid of it thawing and releasing its 70 Billion tonnes of methane.

    I never realized how massive some of those peat bogs are.

  4. Peter Kiermeir says:

    As a new surprise gift it is feared that radioactive contaminated clouds from the fires in Russia will drift with the prevailing winds to the northeast (Baltic Sea) areas as far as the south of Sweden. Russian authorities admitted that the fires have already reached areas contaminated in the 1986 Tschernobyl disaster.


August 2010


‎"At some point we must draw a line across the ground of our home and our being, drive a spear into the land and say to the bulldozers, earthmovers, government and corporations, “thus far and no further.” If we do not, we shall later feel, instead of pride, the regret of Thoreau, that good but overly-bookish man, who wrote, near the end of his life, “If I repent of anything it is likely to be my good behaviour."

~ Edward Abbey