S3 enhanced true colour

Large smoke plume from wildfires in Russia

28-29 July 2021

S3 enhanced true colour
S3 enhanced true colour

In summer 2021 Russia saw unprecedented widespread wildfires ravage large swathes of Siberia.

Last Updated

10 June 2022

Published on

29 July 2021

By Mark Higgins (EUMETSAT), Sancha Lancaster (Pactum) and Ilaria Parodi (CGI)

For more than a month wildfires have been raging in Russia, with Siberia, in particular, being badly affected. By 26 July 1.88 million hectares (4.6 million acres) of forest was alight.

The enhanced imagery from both Metop and Sentinel-3 clearly show the extent of the smoke (Figures 1-4).

Metop-B AVHRR NCOL/Fog, 28 July 2021
Figure 1: Metop-B AVHRR Natural Colour RGB & Fog RGB, 28 July 07:52 UTC (six orbits).
Sentinel-3A Enhanced True Colour 28 July 2021
Figure 2: Sentinel-3 OLCI True Colour, 28 July 05:10 UTC (daily accumulated).
Metop-B AVHRR NCOL/Fog, 29 July 2021
Figure 3: Metop-B AVHRR Natural Colour RGB & Fog RGB, 29 July 04:52 UTC (six orbits)
Sentinel-3A Enhanced True Colour 29 July 2021
Figure 4: Sentinel-3 OLCI True Colour, 29 July 05:56 UTC (daily accumulated).

The smoke particles were also visible in the GOME-2 Absorbing Aerosol Index product from the Atmospheric Composition SAF (AC SAF) (Figure 5).

Figure 5: Metop-B/C GOME-2 Absorbing Aerosol Index, 29 July. Credit: AC SAF/Lothar Schüller

Additional content

Fires in Siberia (NASA Worldview)
Siberia wildfires: Russia army planes and thousands of firefighters battle blazes (The Guardian)
In Siberia, volunteers wage war on Russia's wildfires with shovels and saws (euronews)