Russia — The area of forest fires has tripled in the Russian Republic of Altai for the past day. Meanwhile, another two fires broke out, and now seven fires on an area of 128.5 hectares are raging in the republic. The fires burnt down 87.5 hectares of forests, a source in the Ministry of Natural Resources told Itar-Tass on Thursday.
Specialists said the forest fire area in the republic keeps growing over a hot dry weather. The air temperatures rise to 27-29 degrees Centigrade.
More than 50 specialists of the Gorno-Altailes organisation established this year and 18 airborne troopers from the Altai forest protection airbase are involved in the firefighting efforts. Ten pieces of machinery are involved in the firefighting operation.
From the beginning of the warm season this year 53 forest fires have already broken out in the republic. The fires spread on about 600 hectares of forests, trees grow on about 400 hectares.
All in all, in 2007 126 forests fires broke out in the Republic of Altai, and the flames destroyed 1,387 hectares of forests. Almost all fires were caused by the careless handling with fire in 2007 and this year.