A heatwave in one of the world’s coldest regions has sparked forest fires and threatened the Siberian city of Yakutsk with an ‘airpocalypse’ of thick toxic smoke, atmospheric monitoring services have reported. Local authorities have warned the 320,000 residents to stay indoors to avoid choking fumes from the blazes, which are on course to break last year’s record. Officials have described this summer’s weather as the driest in the past 150 years.

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