Artists Raise Awareness of Siberia Wildfires as Blazes Spread


Photo by Joanne Francis on Unsplash

The ‘Siberia is Burning’ initiative is helping build global awareness of the ongoing Siberia Wildfires.

Artists from across Russia have been actively creating works that highlight the severity of the current Siberia Wildfires. The smog plume has grown so large, that it is beginning to cross the border into Mongolia, which borders Siberia to the East.

The UN’s World Meteorological Organization (WMO) recently Tweeted that the current year’s Siberian Wildfires are likely to be the greatest on record, with more than 5.5 million hectares ablaze at the moment, most of which are burning in Siberia.

Artists Think Siberia Wildfires Aren’t Being Addressed

A number of Russian artists are blanketing the internet with work that is designed to get the public thinking about the Siberia Wildfires.

The effort seems to be working. Hashtag “sibirgorit”, standing for, “Siberia is burning” is being used on Instagram in higher numbers. It has been used for 22,000 posts so far.

The tag “Save Siberia Forests” has become popular on Twitter, with more than 2,500 uses. The problems in Siberia are global in scope and may affect weather patterns over the coming years.

Greenpeace commented that the fires will make a, “tremendous contribution to climate change.”

Despite the dangers from the Siberia Wildfires, many from the affected areas are surprised at the lack of official action to fight the fires.

Yulia Dukhova, a resident of Krasnoyarsk who is also an artist wrote that, “Siberia is burning, but we are hanging on. My series of photos, called Breathe, is dedicated to the burnt and broken heart of Siberia.”

Massive Plume of Smog

The UN’s WMO estimates that the smog cloud from Russian wildfires is now larger than the EU.

Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev was in Krasnoyarsk city to chair a crisis meeting recently, and he commented that, “The most important task is to prevent the fire from spreading to populated areas.”

From the perspective of the Russian government that is likely true, but the fallout from the Siberia Wildfires will no doubt be an international issue. With luck, the fires can be brought under control, and the atmosphere over Eurasia saved from even more toxic smog.