Wildfires spread in remote Siberia, Russian Far East

Avialesookhrana  TASS

Avialesookhrana TASS

Mi-8 military helicopters dumped around 550 tones of water in the areas engulfed by wildfires. Unusually dry weather and inaction by locals authorities have been blamed for the disaster.

States of emergency have been declared in the regions of Irkutsk, Buryatia, Sakha and Krasnoyarsk. The fire also ravaged Irkutsk Region, where 700,000 hectares were burning.

AFP map showing the major fires in Siberia and the quantity of pollution present in the atmosphere.

Separate online satellite imagery from fires.ru, a site run by a satellite monitoring company, showed that the fires appeared to be near an area where the Kuyumba oilfield is located in eastern Siberia.

TASS reports that according to the Russian Aerial Forest Protection Service, as of July 31 almost 2.8 million hectares in the control zone (hard to access zone) are affected by the wildfire with the most severe being in Yakutia (1.1 million hectares), Krasnoyarsk (over 1 million hectares) and Irkutsk (around 700,000 hectares) regions.

Wildfires are common in Russian Federation but the disaster is spreading faster than usual at present.

It said that 10,000 people and 2,800 pieces of equipment were being used to bring the fires under control.

U.S. President Donald Trump said that phone call with Russian President Vladimir Putin was short but constructive, the White House press pool informed. Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte has also offered help in putting out the fires.

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