Smoke plumes over southwest Siberia •

Last update: May 6th, 2021 at 11:00 am

Today’s Image of the Day from NASA Earth Observatory shows smoke from a large number of fires burning in the Omsk region of southwest Siberia. 

With a population of more than one million people, Omsk is one of the ten largest cities in Russia. It is also one of the coldest cities, averaging around -4 degrees Fahrenheit in the winter.

The area around Omsk is one of the most productive agricultural regions in Russia, with some of the main crops including wheat, rye, barley, and oats. Before replanting each year in the spring, farmers burn debris from the previous year’s crop to clear the land and fertilize the soil.

This year, Russian emergency services have reported an abnormally high number of fires in the Omsk region. 

According to NASA, wildfire smoke has traveled about 400 miles east toward Novosibirsk, where a “black sky” air quality warning was issued on April 27.

The image was captured on April 28, 2021 by the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on NASA’s Aqua satellite.

Image Credit: NASA Earth Observatory 

By Chrissy Sexton, Staff Writer

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