Firefighters battle 26 wildfires in Russian Far East

Firefighters battle 26 wildfires in Russian Far East

17 July 2011

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Russia — Firefighters have extinguished ten wildfires in the Russian Far East in the past twenty-four hours and are still battling 26 forest fires in the area, Russia’s Emergencies Ministry said on Sunday.

“Satellite monitoring and aircraft surveillance have registered a total of 36 forest fires in the Far East on an area of over 5,700 hectares. Ten fires have been extinguished over the past twenty-four hours on an area of 228 hectares. Firefighters are currently battling 26 forest and tundra fires on an area of over 5,500 hectares,” the ministry said.

Over 700 people and 74 pieces of equipment, including 15 aircraft, are involved in the firefighting effort, the ministry said.

Russia is trying to prevent the developments of last summer, when an enormous heat wave in the country’s European part caused massive wildfires, which killed 62 people and left thousands homeless.

Wildfires in forested regions of Russia are common during the dry and hot summer season. Most of the time, the fires start because of the careless behavior of local residents in the woods.

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