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KMSP - While the topic doesn’t sound particularly fascinating or rare, I can assure you it is. Greenland is covered with mostly glaciers. Even in the heart of the summer, 90% of the country is covered in ice. That’s probably why the total population of the country is barely 50,000 even though it is roughly 3 times larger than the state of Texas. In the high resolution pictures, you can see the front edge of the fire burning toward the upper right of the image. You can also see a glacier just a couple dozen kilometers to the north.
While the country is mostly ice, the shorelines are influenced enough by the warmer summer waters of the Atlantic that some hearty vegetation grows like grasses, mosses, peat, and a few shrubs that can withstand an almost 10 month winter season. This isn’t the first wildfire seen in the country… not even the first one this year. But they are becoming more common since overall fire activity started being recorded worldwide in 2000.
So if there are so few people in the country, and they rarely see thunderstorms because it’s just too cold, how did the fire start? Unfortunately, that remains a mystery. But 80% of wildfires in North America are caused by humans, so if I had to venture a guess, that’s where I would put my money.