Fires in eastern Russia are commonplace at this time of year. Both wildfires and those deliberately set for agricultural purposes are often seen in the Amur region of Russia. This image from the Aqua satellite shows a plethora of fires burning in eastern Russia on May 03, 2013.
Agricultural fires are deliberately set by farmers to clear fields of old debris and return nutrients to the soil in preparation for the new planting season. Since this area of Russia is responsible for 60% of soybean production in Russia, some of these fires could definitely be agricultural in nature.
However, the Russia-India Report (indrus.in) reports that "eight Russian military transport airplanes II-76 were redeployed from central Russia to the Far East on April 30, equipped with special spray tanks to put out the fires in the Amur Region, the Khabarovsk Territory and the Republic of Buryatia."
Through the use of these specially equipped transports over 90 fires were put out. These planes are used regularly for the monitoring of fire situations and the extinguishing of wildfires in the Siberian, Trans-Baikal and Far Eastern regions.
This natural-color satellite image was collected by the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) aboard the Aqua satellite on May 03, 2013. Actively burning areas, detected by MODIS's thermal bands, are outlined in red.
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