Zombie fires broke out at -60C near Oymyakon, the coldest permanently inhabited place in the world

Zombie fires broke out at -60C near Oymyakon, the coldest permanently inhabited place in the world

A local photographer captured columns of smoke rising above an underground peat fire. Photographer Semyon Sivtsev shared video and photos of zombie fires near his home village of Oymyakon, the “Pole of Cold.”

‘I shot them near the meadows near the village of Khara-Tumul, not far from Oymyakon (3.6 km west of Oymyakon, The Siberian Times). This was in an area where forest fires were blazing in the summer,” Semyon said.

This area outside Oymyakon was first hit by forest fires earlier this year, as shown by satellite images on May 1, 2021.

This was followed by the worst wildfire season to date in Yakutia, Russia’s coldest and largest area, where fires have destroyed more than 8 million hectares of forest.

Semyon witnessed many such zombie fires around Oymyakon, some of which were eventually put out by melting snow in the spring.

I know of at least one zombie peat fire that burned for several years in the Mundullakh area, near Oymyakon.

It was put out by a combination of melting snow and heavy rains, and four years ago a lake formed in the area. The peat burns and is replaced by water, the thawing of the permafrost also contributed to this,” says Semyon Sivtsev.

Video of a peat fire burning at -60C outside Oymyakon, the Pole of Cold, and a lake near Oymyakon, formed in the place where peat fires had been continuously burning for several years. Video, photo by Semyon Sivtsev

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