NBC] Colossal wildfires in Russia have burned an area the size Vermont and Delaware combined, Greenpeace said Tuesday, amid fears the country could suffer its worst wildfire season in more than 100 years.
The season is still in its early stages, but
wildfires blazing across the country's far east have already scorched
through more than 11,500 square miles, according to the environmental
The largest area burned in a single wildfire
season in the 21st century was 50,000 square miles in 2013 — around the
size of Alabama.
Alexey Yaroshenko, the head of Greenpeace Russia's forest program, said that this year may top that figure.
"Most of these wildfires are man-made," he told NBC News by phone.
Many of the blazes are started by villagers who
are torching the previous year's grass make way for new growth. But the
practice often backfires. This year alone, four settlements have been
forced to evacuate before being engulfed by fire, although no casualties
have been reported. Read More