07/28/2014 12:01 EDT | Updated 07/28/2014 12:59 EDT

Yellowknife Looks Like Beijing Right Now (PHOTOS)

It has a population of around 20,000 people. This weekend it looked as polluted as a sprawling metropolis of millions.

Yellowknife was blanketed with smoke from raging wildfires this weekend, making the city look more like Beijing than a sleepy Arctic outpost.

This is what it looked like on Sunday

(Credit: André Corbeil)

And this is what it usually looks like

On Sunday the air quality index went to 10+

That's the highest possible rating

A real-time index shows Yellowknife actually had worse air than Beijing over the weekend

The NWT is experiencing one of the worst fire seasons in decades

Smoke from the blazes has even reached the U.S. border

More than one million hectares of land have been affected

And the fires are still raging

Let's hope the firefighters protecting the north get a break soon

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