Yakutsk in Russian Siberia is known as the world’s coldest city. In a place where even an exposed nose during the winter months can cause biting pain, people are accustomed to taking precautions against freezing temperatures, including spending extra time in the morning to dress in many layers.
But now the city is blanketed in a haze as nearby wildfires tear through forests that have been parched by weeks of heatwaves. The fires are so big, and the winds are strong, smoke is traveling as far away as Alaska.
In the US, the Bootleg wildfire in Oregon has grown into a monstrous complex with its own weather, sending the dense smoke some 3,000 miles across one end of the continent to the other.
New York City on Wednesday woke up to an intense red sunrise, the smell of wildfires, and a thick brown haze.
Firefighters in both countries, as well as British Columbia in Canada, are fighting a near-impossible battle to smother the infernos with water bombs and hoses, and preventing their spread by digging firebreaks.