Fires Near Lake Baikal
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Fires Near Lake Baikal

June 3, 2006

In southern Russia's Irkutsk region, dozens of fires were burning between the snow-capped Vostochnny Mountains and the Angara River on May 26, 2006. The MODIS on NASA's Terra satellite captured this image and fire detections (marked in red) as it passed overhead that day.

A large, smoky fire was also burning in Mongolia on this day. Lake Baikal still had ice clinging to its shoreline in places, and part of the Angara River was still ice-covered as well.

The ITAR-TASS Russian news service reported major fire activity in Russia's Far East in the spring of 2006. According to their reports, which cite the Russian Ministry for Emergency Situations, the area burned as of the third week of May was 17 times greater than the area burned in 2005.

Hundreds of thousands of hectares (1 hectare is about 2.5 acres) of taiga (boreal forest) and non-forest areas had burned. At this time of year, fires in the area are triggered by both lightning and people.

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