Sunday, 10 July 2011

Smouldering mega fires are back in Russia: burning peat

Remember the Russian wildfires last summer that choked the city of Moscow and other regions? These were smouldering mega fires burning for several weeks and caused by the slow burning of dry peatlands. See here for an introduction to smouldering combustion.

Unfortunately, they are back this summer. Last week, they were several flaming fires burning in the region of Moscow. After flames were extinguished, the peat was seen to smoulder. Given the pollution, environmental and climate disaster that the smouldering mega fires brought last summer, the worry is that they might burn for months in 2011 as well. Given the extreme difficulty of suppressing smouldering fires when these have already grown out of proportions, the Fire Service is afraid that the fate might be in the hand of the rain.

In the meantime, Greenpeace reported about 20 peat fires in Russia.

PD: There are currently smouldering mega fire burning in North Carolina, Georgia and Indonesia.