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Wildfires rage in Russia’s Siberia

Massive outbreak of permafrost wildfires in Russia this week have left up to 34 villages in smoldering ruins. Image from Khakassia.

Massive outbreak of permafrost wildfires in Russia this week have left up to 34 villages in smoldering ruins. Image from Khakassia.

More than 5,000 Russian emergency workers are battling to put out wildfires raging across forestland in Siberia, officials said Tuesday.

Over 1,250 square kilometres of woodland are ablaze in at least six eastern regions, Russia’s federal forestry agency said.

The republic of Buryatia, which borders Mongolia and the eastern shore of Lake Baikal, is fighting to extinguish 60 blazes raging through 717 square kilometres of land, the agency said.

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

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

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

Investigators at the time launched probes into the deadly fires to determine whether they could have been caused by negligence.



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