Vilfand: High temperatures cause Arctic forest fires
© RIA Novosti. Alexandr Kryazhev

Vilfand: High temperatures cause Arctic forest fires

Frequent and stable anti-cyclones are causing large-scale forest fires in the Russian Arctic, Canada and also Alaska.

"During the second half of the 20th century, meteorologists seldom predicted fire hazards in areas of the Arctic. So, why are they reporting fires today? Temperatures are very high, and the forests are on fire all over the Arctic. Air circulation trends are changing, and meridional processes are becoming more frequent; this leads to the formation of stationary anti-cyclones," Roman Vilfand, Scientific Director of the Hydrometeorological Center of Russia, said.

He explained that the underlying surface is heating up all the time because of small cloud formations. The Sun does not disappear beyond the horizon during the Arctic summers, and this considerably increases the chances of wildfires.

Vilfand also added that it is impossible to predict the location of anti-cyclones in advance, but that they will appear more often in polar areas.

According to the Aerial Forest Protection Service (Avialesokhrana), forest fires are raging on an area of over 1.5 million hectares in remote Siberian regions. This increases fire hazards in northern areas of the Krasnoyarsk Territory and Yakutia.