‘Zombie Fires’ Erupt In Alaska, Siberia, Signal Severe Arctic Season

“Move over, ‘murder hornets.’ There’s a new 2020 phenomenon to worry about.”

“The bitterly cold Arctic winter typically snuffs out the seasonal wildfires that erupt in this region. But every once in a while, a wildfire comes along that refuses to die.

These blazes, known as “zombie fires” or “holdover fires,” can burrow into the rich organic material beneath the surface, such as the vast peatlands that ring the Arctic, and smolder under the snowpack throughout the frigid winter.

With the Siberian Arctic seeing record warm conditions in recent weeks and months, scientists monitoring Arctic wildfire trends are becoming more convinced that some of the blazes erupting in the Arctic this spring are actually left over from last summer.”

Andrew Freedman reports for the Washington Post May 28, 2020.