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Summer Wildfires Ravage Forest-Rich Siberia, in Photos

Large swathes of Siberia are in flames as what looks to be another record-breaking wildfire season sets in.

Environmental group Greenpeace said last month that this year's wildfires are already twice as large as those of the same time last year.

Acting Emergencies Minister Alexander Chupryan said this week that Russia has seen over 4,000 forest fires across 270,000 hectares — an area larger than Luxembourg — so far this year.

Climate experts have sounded the alarm over the increasingly intense annual wildfires, saying the burning trees release massive amounts of carbon while melting methane-rich permafrost.

They also threaten human lives, with 16 people having died as a result of the fires in the past week alone, Chupryan said.

The wildfires have become increasingly destructive in recent years as Russia's northern regions warm faster than the rest of the world. The 2021 wildfire season was Russia's largest ever.

President Vladimir Putin told Chupryan that "we cannot allow a repeat of last year's situation, when forest fires were the most long-lasting and intensive of recent years."

Here's a closer look: