Arctic villagers flee wildfires on boats as flames encircle village

Escape from HELL: Arctic villagers flee raging wildfires on boats as 35ft flames encircle remote settlement

  • Residents in remote Svatay, northern Russia, fled on the Alazeya River
  • Village is 140 miles above Arctic Circle and has been encircled by fires for weeks
  • Fires fuelled by high winds have wiped out ancient trees and roasted live wildlife 
  • World’s coldest city Yakutsk, and largest above Arctic Circle, is covered in smoke

The terror of raging wildfires in northern Russia saw desperate Arctic villagers evacuating by boat to escape 35ft flames and choking smoke.

‘Panicking’ residents in remote Svatay fled on the Alazeya River when they feared their settlement would be destroyed.

The village is 140 miles above the Arctic Circle and has been encircled by fires for weeks, culminating in the exodus when locals felt their lives in danger.

The infernos fuelled by high winds have wiped out ancient trees, and roasted alive wildlife including sables and rare birds.

The terror of raging wildfires in northern Russia saw desperate Arctic villagers evacuating by boat to escape 35ft flames and choking smoke

Larger animals like moose have escaped into the taiga and tundra, say locals.

The unprecedented carnage is seen by many as being a startling consequence of climate change in the extreme north, with smoke from wildfires covering an area of Siberia equivalent to one-third the size of Canada.

One resident said: ‘We never had this before, this weather and the fires.’

Firefighters were desperately seeking to prevent the flames reaching Svatay’s diesel generator.

The village is 140 miles above the Arctic Circle and has been encircled by fires for weeks, culminating in the exodus when locals felt their lives in danger

The infernos fuelled by high winds have wiped out ancient trees, and roasted alive wildlife including sables and rare birds

More footage shows forests on the edge of regional capital Yakutsk engulfed by smoke from unprecedented wildfires after a dry, hot summer.

The world’s coldest city, and the largest above the Arctic Circle, is blanketed by smoke.

Darya Borisova, head of the village administration in Svatay, where there is a state of emergency, said: ‘There was a real threat.’

She said the 450 locals ‘got scared’ when villagers fled by boat.

The unprecedented carnage is seen by many as being a startling consequence of climate change in the extreme north

Smoke from wildfires covering an area of Siberia equivalent to one-third the size of Canada

Emergency workers flew to the far flung outpost with reports of hundreds of people fighting the surging flames.

Rains eventually came and gave a respite in Svatay but firefighters remain on alert in a village that has become a symbol of the changing Arctic.

The smoke has disrupted annual river supply routes essential for outlying villages in the world’s coldest inhabited region, Yakutia.

Other villages even further north are also hit by fires.

Some are zombie infernos – peat burning underground where the permafrost has thawed due to excessive summer heat now known in these regions in living memory.

The world’s coldest city Yakutsk, and the largest above the Arctic Circle, is blanketed by smoke

More footage shows forests on the edge of regional capital Yakutsk engulfed by smoke from unprecedented wildfires after a dry, hot summer. Picture shows villages above the Arctic Circle in Yakutia on fire

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