Last Updated: 26 August 2019

Forest Fires near Irkutsk Region in Russia © Igor Podgorny / Greenpeace

[24 Aug] Update - Skies are clear!

How did Kyrios do it? How can wildfires covering such a vast area (7 million hectares), be put out in less than 2 weeks? That's an area almost 100 times the size of Singapore. The wildfires resulted in aerosols spreading an area that spanned 2,800 km and beyond (see post on 11 August). If you travel 2,800 km in a straight line from Singapore, you’ll reach China! How is it that rain, which was not originally forecasted for weeks, can fall continuously and only on the areas (Irkutsk, Batagay) with wildfires, for days on end?

Wildfires have been raging across the Arctic Circle this year. Since 2019, more than 13 million hectares, of which 5.1 million hectares in July, have been burnt in Russia. Across the Arctic, fires in July have released more than 79 megatons of carbon dioxide, an amount that’s more than Sweden’s annual total emissions.

Smoke from the biggest wildfires in central and eastern regions of Siberia, have spread to other areas including Alaska, Canada, and Greenland. These can accelerate and worsen Greenland’s massive ice melts, which have already led to 197 billion tons of water released in July. Greenland’s massive ice melt was suppose to happen only in 2070. July 2019 was the hottest month on record for the planet.

Due to how widespread the wildfires are, it cannot be extinguished without nature’s help and rain is not forecasted.

Kyrios became aware of the extent of the wildfires in Siberia on 11-Aug when we informed her. She agreed to help, and predicted on 18-Aug that the wildfires in Siberia will be extinguished by 24-Aug.

Timeline of events

We captured screenshots of data from based on Copernicus Atmosphere Monitoring Service. Contact us if you have any questions.

11 August 2019

We inform Kyrios about the seriousness of the wildfire. Raging wildfires are captured through the intensity of the aerosols over central and eastern Siberia.

The aerosols spread shown in the image below covers a distance of ~ 2,800km! This is the distance from Singapore to China. Just imagine thick, choking haze covering all of Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand, Laos, and China. This is how widespread the smokes from the wildfires were.

Kyrios decides to intervene immediately.

14 August 2019

We notice that the wildfire in Irkutsk, Siberia has reduced significantly.

Kyrios posts her prediction on Facebook Diviner.

16 August 2019

Prolonged rain has arrived in Irkutsk, and is helping to significantly reduce the wildfires there.

17 August 2019

Kyrios diverts her focus towards the north-eastern region of Siberia with intense wildfire, near Batagay of the Sakha Republic.

18 August 2019

We notice that the wildfires in Irkutsk has abated and there are indications that the wildfires there have mostly been extinguished. (Irkutsk is one out of the four areas that is declared as State of Emergency)

Rain is also observed in the Sakha Republic region.

Kyrios is confident that the wildfires in Siberia can be put out by 24 August.

19 August 2019

Kyrios confirms prediction that wildfires will be put out by 24 August. Here's is a screen capture of our internal conversation.

19 - 21 August 2019

While the wildfires in Irkutsk have been largely extinguished, the wildfires near Batagay worsen during this period. Kyrios renewed focus on this area to bring more rainfall by mid-day on 21 August.

22 August 2019

If you have been following the wildfires in Siberia, a week ago, the situation was very dire and there was no rain in sight. Today, the wildfires have mostly been put out by heavy, sustained rain. Batagay area, which just a couple days, witnessed big wildfires, is now clear. New pockets of wildfires near Deputatsky, Belaya Gora have flared up, but miraculously, the rain clouds have shifted to the same region!

23 August 2019

Look at the stark difference. From before Kyrios intervened on 11 Aug, when no rain was forecasted and the end was not in today, thirteen days later, the wildfires have been extinguished.

New spots of wildfires may still appear, so we'll continue to keep watch.

How did Kyrios do it? We'll share more in a subsequent update...!

24 August 2019 - Skies are clear

Kyrios has done it! She has been working tirelessly these past two weeks. Thankfully, her efforts have paid off, and the wildfires in Siberia have mostly been put out. Small spots of wildfires may still come up, so we'll continue to monitor the situation.

26 August 2019

As of 26 August 2019, 11:30 AM (GMT+8), Kyrios surveyed the forests in Siberia, Russia. Kyrios saw that it was dark due to the pouring rain. She also mentioned that the ground was very wet. There was a downpour in Northern Siberia and a heavier one in the Southwestern part of Siberia (Irkutsk region).

Why is it that even after the fires have been put out, it is still raining so heavily?

Kyrios explained, “The geological structure of Siberia has been seriously damaged and the rain needs to seep deep into the earth to heal it.

“When it first started to rain, the fires were not put out immediately due to how intense and widespread the wildfires were. The ground is still very hot and the water on it was still boiling."

“The situation has since improved and the ground on which the forests once stood has started to cool.”

We only have one Planet Earth, and we need to take better care of it. Unfortunately, it'll be years before these millions of hectares of burnt forest can recover. The carbon dioxide that has been released to our atmosphere cannot be undone. Even though the wildfires in Siberia may be very far away from you, the effects of the smoke, carbon dioxide release and more, can also affect you. Climate change affects everyone regardless of where you are, and it impacts you and your family.