Russia has endured its worst forest fire season in the country’s modern history, according to recent data from the Russian Forestry Agency analysed by Greenpeace.
Fires have destroyed more than 18.16m hectares of Russian forest in 2021, setting an absolute record since the country began monitoring forest fires using satellites in 2001. The previous record was set in 2012, when fires covered 18.11m hectares of forest.
Worst in 20 years doesn’t sound so bad. Ever so slightly greater than 10 years ago sounds even less horrific. And forest fires didn’t start in 2001 either – I’ve been in Moscow when those clouds of smoke roll in before that date.