Almost 44,000 people have signed a petition calling for authorities to declare an emergency in the Siberian Federal District due to wildfires in Krasnoyarsk and Irkutsk regions, RIA Novosti reported.

As of Wednesday morning, wildfires had covered almost 846,000 hectares in the north of the Krasnoyarsk territory, with officials saying that there was no immediate threat to cities and villages.

However, local residents say that pollution from wildfires in Krasnoyarsk has spread with air flows to other regions, covering many areas with a thick haze and burning smell.

Large swathes of the Arctic, including in Alaska, northern Canada, and Greenland are also on fire. Mark Parrington, a senior scientist at Denmark’s Copernicus Atmosphere Monitoring Service, said that it was fair to say that July’s “Arctic Circle wildfires are now at unprecedented levels.”

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