Last update: August 24th, 2019 at 2:00 pm
Huge, charcoal-colored burn scars stand out amid the green vegetation in central Russia near the Lena River. The Lena flows into the scene at bottom left and heads northeastward through the bottom of the image. At a sharp bend, the Lena heads north through the eastern portion of the Central Siberian Plateau. The channel of the river takes on a braided appearance in this section. In this Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) image from the Aqua satellite on July 22, 2003, several large fires were detected by MODIS and are marked with red dots. The large amounts of smoke being produced by the fires could be due to burning peat—the thick layer of richly organic soil that occurs in northern ecosystems.