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Wildfires intensify in Siberia

Offa Markets fireWildfires raging through Siberia intensified on Wednesday as thousands of emergency workers battled to tackle the blazes, officials said.

More than 150 fires raged through 1,400 square kilometres of land throughout the country, with the majority of blazes concentrated in southern Siberia, Russia’s federal forest agency said.

Nearly 6,000 emergency workers are fighting to extinguish blazes in at least nine Siberian regions.

The region most affected by the fires is the republic of Buryatia, where nearly 750 square kilometres of woodland are burning. The neighboring Irkutsk region is also fighting to control the 19 fires on its territory.

Areas of Lake Baikal, which is sandwiched between the two regions, are covered in thick smoke, according to local reports.

The current wildfires have not yet affected inhabited areas, according to authorities.

Wildfires are a common occurence in Russia each summer due to the burning of dry grass, and can claim lives and damage property.

In April, at least 34 people died in southern Siberia as a result of wildfires. Hundreds of others were made homeless.



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