Zombie Fires are Burning in the World’s Coldest Village

Jack Robinson | | BrainsBrains
Smoke rises from a fire in Alaska's Yukon Delta National Wildlife Refuge in 2015. A new study finds that wildfires in boreal forests and peatlands of the Arctic can sometimes spawn "zombie fires," which can burn all the way through winter.
 A new study finds that wildfires in boreal forests and peatlands of the Arctic can sometimes spawn zombie fires; which can burn through winter Source: https://www.cnn.com/2021/05/19/weather/zombie-fires-arctic-forests-climate-change-scn/index.html

According to The Mirror News, Zombie fires are burning in the world’s coldest village where temperatures drop to a freezing -60C. The photo below by Semen Sitvtsev depicts smoke coming up from underneath very deep snow in the “Pole of the Cold’ in Siberia, Russia. Zombie fires are caused due to preexisting wildfires. Zombie fires get their name because they seem to resurrect from the dead.

After a wildfire has been put out on the surface, some of it can still burn under the ground without anybody knowing, fueled by methane and peat. These fires continue to burn throughout winter, hidden under the snow and ice.

In the warmer months, the wildfires can re-ignite and spread again. The name “zombie fires” became popular last year when the subarctic portion of Russian experienced a very big heatwave during 2020. A combination of temperatures up to 38˚C and melted permafrost began to create damaging wildfires.

Zombie fires happen when previous wildfires consume carbon-rich plant material under the snow in the wintertime. Very flammable vegetation such as grass moss, and peat insulate the fires, which can either burn throughout the entire winter or reignite when the temperature rises.

Arctic permafrost contains a third of the world’s carbon-rich soil. This ancient permafrost stores years upon years of Carbon, which provides a source of fuel. Burning peat contains 100 times more carbon than a regular wildfire.

Zombie fires pictured outside Oymyakon, the world's coldest permanently inhabited place in Russia
Zombie fires pictured outside Oymyakon, the world’s coldest permanently inhabited place in Russia Source: https://i2-prod.mirror.co.uk/incoming/article25597096.ece/ALTERNATES/s615b/0_PAY-Zombie-fires-Siberia-2-The-Siberian-Times.jpg

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