Out of control wildfires in Siberia have torn through an area larger than Greece so far in 2020, Greenpeace Russia has said, imploring authorities to do more to tackle the fires which are choking towns and cities in smoke and hastening the climate crisis.
Using satellite monitoring data, Greenpeace said the total area burnt by the fires in Russia since the beginning of 2020 has reached 19 million hectares, of which 10 million hectares were forest fires.
The majority of the blazes are in remote areas of far eastern Russia and eastern Siberia, but they are spreading.
Last week smoke from wildfires covered Siberian cities including Yakutsk, Ugorsk and Sovetsky as well as many other smaller towns and villages.
“Russia’s sprawling Siberia region has become a climate hotspot, heating up much faster than the rest of the planet,” said Grigory Kuksin, Wildfire Unit Head at Greenpeace Russia.