Landsat's View of a Siberian Wildfire
The summer of 2019 has been marked by wildfires across the Arctic. Millions of square miles have burned or are burning in the U.S. state of Alaska, in Canada, and even on the western edge of the icy island of Greenland.
Imagery from sensors like Landsat can offer a closer look at the damage caused by wildfires.
These Landsat 8 images from July 30 show the same area in central Siberia.
The first is a natural color combination, created using Landsat bands 4, 3, and 2. The second uses bands 7, 5, and 2 to expose burned areas and highlight an active fire north of the Vilyuy River. Bands 7 and 5 detect infrared energy reflected outside the spectrum visible to the human eye.
Scientists use data like this, archived by the USGS Earth Resources Observation and Science (EROS) Center, to map burned areas and monitor post-fire recovery worldwide.