Russia — Forest fires raging in northern Kazakhstan near the Russian border have killed six people, as Russian firefighting aircraft help Kazakh authorities tackle the blazes, media sources reported Thursday.
More than 500 firefighters are battling at least six fires that started mid-Wednesday in the Pavlodar region of Kazakhstan, the Emergencies Ministry said.
“Six people – three forestry workers and three locals – have been killed as a result of forest fires in the Pavlodar region,” the Agence France-Presse (AFP) news agency Thursday cited the Agriculture Ministry as saying.
The authorities evacuated more than 260 villagers from the area, the Kazakh Emergencies Ministry said.
Fires have also spread north across the border to the Russian Altai region in Western Siberia where Russian authorities are reporting that more than 1,000 people are now homeless after fires consumed 334 houses, the RIA Novosti news agency reported Thursday.
Three fire fronts are sweeping northward toward Novosibirsk regions, the Reuters news agency Thursday cited the Russian Emergencies Ministry as saying.
A record-breaking heat wave in July-August sparked huge fires across 17 regions of Russia killing more than 60 people and leaving 3,000 families homeless. Some fires were driven south over the border and into Western Kazakhstan.