Sunday, Nov 29 2020
All Cities
Choose Your City
'Dancing in light, shimmering.. like a giant diorama made from mother-of-pearl… was Lake Baikal'
Mike Carter, The Observer, 2009

Arctic fires worsen and threaten world famous park set up to recreate flora of woolly mammoth era

By The Siberian Times reporter
01 July 2020

Worrying videos and pictures show how the pristine polar region of northern Yakutia is ablaze.

Banks of mighty Siberian River Kolyma are hardly visible through the clouds of smoke from wildfires. Picture: Vera Salnitskaya

A major fire is burning right now outside the Arctic town of Chersky, around Mount Rodinka, loved by the locals for weekend trips.

The fire started around 10 days ago, threatening a major power line that feeds the remote town. 

There was a hope that the fire was stopped some 10km from Chersky, but today the director of Pleistocene Park Nikita Zimov said that the blaze was back. 

He shared a video of clouds of smoke blanketing the sun around the park deep  in eastern Siberia. 

Arctic fires worsen and now threaten world famous park set up to recreate flora of woolly mammoth era


Arctic fires worsen and now threaten world famous park set up to recreate flora of woolly mammoth era




Arctic on fire. Wildfires around the town of Chersky, a gateway to the Pleistocene Park pictured and filmed by Nikita Zimov and Alexei Kurilo


The park is a major ecological experiment recreating the northern subarctic steppe grassland ecosystem that flourished in the area during the last glacial period.

Its supporters say such a back-to-the-future change by restoring grassland and creating an Arctic Serengeti can show the world how to significantly slow the release of dangerous carbon gases into the atmosphere in regions where permafrost is thawing after being frozen for tens of thousands of years.  

The park is also seen as the perfect home for woolly mammoths if scientists succeed in current efforts to bring the species back to life by genetic cloning from remains preserved in the permafrost in the region. 

Worrying pictures came this week from aboard a ship moving along Kolyma River from the town of Srednekolymsk, with banks of the mighty Siberian river barely visible because of smoke from wildfires. 

People from Yakutsk said that while they don't see the fires around the city yet, they certainly begin to feel the smoke. 

Arctic fires worsen and now threaten world famous park set up to recreate flora of woolly mammoth era


Arctic fires worsen and now threaten world famous park set up to recreate flora of woolly mammoth era


Arctic fires worsen and now threaten world famous park set up to recreate flora of woolly mammoth era


Arctic fires worsen and now threaten world famous park set up to recreate flora of woolly mammoth era


Arctic fires worsen and now threaten world famous park set up to recreate flora of woolly mammoth era
Pictures of wildfires in the extreme north of Yakutia from around the towns of Chersky, Srednekolymsk and Nizhnekolymsk. Pictures: Nikita Zimov, social media


Lena Pillars Park in Yakutia south from Yakutsk said earlier today that they had to postpone re-opening despite coronavirus restrictions being lifted because a state of emergency was introduced at Khangalassky Ulus due to the extremely high number of wildfires.  

'A very strange' July was forecast for Yakutia by Russian weather specialists. 

Average temperature will stay for at least seven, ten degrees C above the norm, with rains not coming until around 20 July. 

The end of the month will 'cool down' to about +20C, while the first 20 days of July might be as hot as +30C - and dry.  

Arctic fires worsen and now threaten world famous park set up to recreate flora of woolly mammoth era
Residents of Yakutia enjoy hot summer days in Yakutia’s desert of Tukulany. Picture: Ilma Sevostyanova


Massive wildfires in the extreme north of Siberia will continue more and more often, warned Russia's chief weather specialist Roman Vilfand. 

'Forests are on fire all along the Arctic territory including Alaska and Canada,’ he said.

‘It's linked to changes in circulation and to the increasing number of meridional processes that lead to forming of stationary anticyclone’., 

Vilfand explained that two other key factors contribute to a current massive spike of Siberian and Arctic wildfires: the sun doesn't set during Arctic summers and ground doesn't cool down, and secondly it keeps getting heated by clear weather with little or no clouds. 

Currently wildfires rage in the remote areas of Siberia at the combined territory of more than 1.5 million hectares, according to Russian Aerial Forest Protection Service. 

The pole of cold town of Verkhoyansk experienced a ‘fantasical’ temperature of 38C on 17 June, he said. 

The northernmost fire of 2020 to date caught by satellites above the Arctic circle, and the mid-June 2020 Arctic heatwave. Pictures: European Union , Copernicus Sentinel-2 imagery

Arctic fires worsen and now threaten world famous park set up to recreate flora of woolly mammoth era


Arctic fires worsen and now threaten world famous park set up to recreate flora of woolly mammoth era

Add your comment

We welcome a healthy debate, but do not accept offensive or abusive comments. Please also read 'Siberian Times' Privacy Policy

Name

Town/Country

Add your comments

The views expressed in the comments above are those of our readers. 'Siberian Times' reserves the right to pre-moderate some comments.

Control code*

Type the code

* obligatory


Features

Business

The Bank of Russia official exchange rates of foreign currencies
EUR90.46USD75.86GBP101.38Other...