Wildfires raging across usually-frozen land, temperatures topping 100 degrees Fahrenheit (37.8 degrees Celsius), smoke blanketing cities—it’s close to apocalyptic right now in Siberia as one of the world’s most northern regions struggles through another intense fire season.
Flames first lit up the normally frigid landscape in May. Since then, things have gone from bad to worse. Officials said this is one of Siberia’s driest summers in 150 years, and record-hot temperatures over the past few years have dried out forests even further. More than 30,000 square miles (77,700 square kilometers) have already burned this year. That’s half as much as the total 60,000 square miles (155,400 square kilometers) that burned in all of last year’s fire season. The heat that drove last year’s season was made 600 times more likely by climate change.