Zombie fires ‘may account for third of total burn in arctic forests’

The wildfires, also known as overwintering fires, are becoming more common due to climate change, experts believe

Wednesday 19 May 2021 20:23
comments
“Zombie fires” continue to smoulder beneath the frozen surface through the winter and then flare up in the spring
“Zombie fires” continue to smoulder beneath the frozen surface through the winter and then flare up in the spring

So-called ‘zombie fires’ that continue to smoulder beneath the frozen surface through the winter and then reignite in the spring could account for up to a third of the total burn area in arctic forests, scientists think.

The wildfires, also known as overwintering fires, are becoming more common in forests across Canada, Alaska and Russia due to the warming climate.

Experts think that the increasing temperature allows the fires to burn deeper into the soil and sustain them over the freezing winter months.

Join our new commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies

View comments