Russia sends army to aid with Siberian wildfires

With flames tearing across some 800,000 hectares of Russian forest, the hardest-hit region of Yakutia in the north has been in a state of emergency for weeks as climate scientists sound the alarm about the potential long-term impact.

Russia has seen its annual fire season become more ferocious in recent years, as climate change has driven unusually high temperatures across the northern Siberian tundra.

President Vladimir Putin ordered the defense ministry to assist local authorities, defense minister Sergei Shoigu said during a briefing.