Russia Wildfires in Russia more rampant in 2011, spread over east

Russia Wildfires in Russia more rampant in 2011, spread over east (RIA Novosti, June 7, 2011):

Russia reported 234 wildfires burning in forests and peat bogs on Tuesday, covering an area three times the size of that for the same period last year.

The fires, up 30 from Monday, are raging across a vast area of 618,000 hectares in remote parts of Siberia and the Urals, according to Rosleskhoz, the Federal Forest Service.

The worst hit regions are the Sakha Republic (Yakutia), the Amur region, the Krasnoyarsk territory, and the Irkutsk region, the Russian Emergencies Ministry said.

There are fears of a repeat of last year’s disaster, when a massive drought and fires claimed 62 lives and devastated crops, which forced Russia last year to impose a ban on grains exports. The ban is expected to be lifted in July.

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