A series of wildfires that have been ravaging World Coldest Place Siberia the past month have converged to create an inferno larger than fires in Turkey, Greece, Italy, the U.S. and Canada combined, according to The Hill.

The hardest-hit region is Yakutia, Russia’s largest territory that has historically recorded some of the coldest temperatures on Earth and sits on top of a thick layer of permafrost. That area is currently experiencing a record drought, the Post reports. Smoke from the massive fires has traveled thousands of miles, reaching the North Pole for the first time in recorded history, according to NASA.

The Yakutia region is one of the most remote parts in all of Russia. Dozens of large fires are burning with little resistance from crews as the blazes are not threatening any communities or infrastructure. It has been reported that more than 8,600 emergency workers are involved in trying to contain the massive fires. Russian authorities estimate the fires have burned more than 62,000 square miles since the start of the year.

Wildfires occur annually in the forested area known as the Taiga, but this year has been particularly severe due to extreme heat waves and record droughts.

In recent years, Russian World Coldest Place has recorded high temperatures that many scientists suspect could be the result of climate change. The hot weather coupled with the neglect of fire safety rules has caused a growing number of fires.

According to Yahoo.com, experts blame the worsening Russian fire situation on a 2007 decision to disband a federal aviation network tasked to spot and combat fires and turn its assets to regional authorities. The forests that cover huge areas of Russia make spotting new fires a challenge, and the much-criticized transfer led to the force’s rapid decline.

Greenpeace Russia told The Washington Post that this year could end up being Russia’s worst fire season on record.

Source News Max

By Arsalan Ahmad

Arsalan Ahmad is a Research Engineer working on 2-D Materials, graduated from the Institute of Advanced Materials, Bahaudin Zakariya University Multan, Pakistan.LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/arsalanahmad-materialsresearchengr/