Image: NASA Earth Observatory images by Joshua Stevens, using Landsat data from the U.S. Geological Survey.
Gizmodo: These Oil Wells in Iraq Have Been Burning For Months
A camera aboard the Landsat 8 satellite has been tracking the progress of oil fires in Iraq that have been burning since June. The dark plumes of smoke, which are wreaking havoc on local communities, are a stark reminder of the ongoing war in the region.
The dense plumes of smoke are emanating from multiple sites about 30 miles (50 km) south of Mosul. The fires were deliberately set by ISIS militants before abandoning the city earlier this summer. The smoke has been persistent over the past three months, blotting out the sun hours before nightfall.
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Update: Oil fires cast black cloud over Iraqi town retaken from Islamic State (Reuters).
WNU Editor: It has not approached the scale as it was when Iraq set fires to Kuwait's oil wells after the first Gulf War, but these oil fires are going to burn for a long time, and the environmental disaster that it has spawned is going to last for generations.