Farmers in this region traditionally set fires to their dried grass in the Spring to prepare their land for the new growing season.
This year (2015) in April, unusually warm temperatures and strong winds turned the tradition into raging out of control fires. According to media reports, wildfires in the Russian region of Khakassia in southern Siberia have killed 15 people and caused damage worth at least $96 millions. The wildfires this season could rival those in 2010 when wildfires raged across central and western Russia throughout the summer, killing dozens of people and destroying crops.

This image was captured on April 20, 2015, when the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on NASA’s Aqua satellite acquired this image. The fires are outlined in red. Dark burn scars are visible through the smoke.

NASA image courtesy Jeff Schmaltz, MODIS Rapid Response Team. Caption: NASA/Goddard, Lynn Jenner Larger image