Wildfires in California, British Columbia, Europe, and North Africa regularly make the news. But wildfires burning in Siberia are bigger than all of the others put together. "Siberia is so vast that huge fires can burn without threatening any major settlements, transportation systems or infrastructure — but are still part of a swath of infernos that together are larger than all the other blazes around the world. On one level, the Siberian fires are part of an annual cycle. But many climate experts see the staggering scope of this year’s fires as another sign of greater fire risks on a warming planet that is potentially being made even hotter by huge carbon emissions from the blazes. Russia is fighting more than 190 forest fires in Siberia that have closed airports and roads, forced widespread evacuations and sent a pall of smoke across the North Pole. But it has abandoned dozens more fires covering thousands of square miles, with no effort to fight them. ... More than 8,600 [Russian] firefighters, agricultural workers, soldiers and other emergency workers are fighting forest fires that have burned more than 62,300 square miles since the beginning of the year, according to Greenpeace. That’s an area nearly twice the size of Austria. ... Last year, Russian fires burned 4.7 billion trees, seven times more than were planted, according to a Greenpeace study using satellite images. In one month, Russian fires emitted carbon equal to Sweden’s total carbon dioxide emissions for the year."
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