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New storm warning given in trans-Baikal territory stricken by steppe fires

April 13, 2012, 21:21 UTC+3
That is the first fire, which spread into a residential area, in Russia this year
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ULAN-UDE, April 13 (Itar-Tass) —— A new storm warning has been given in the trans-Baikal territory where high winds are fanning out steppe fires.

“The Chita hydro-meteorological center said that high winds of up to 25 meters per second, blizzards and sand storms are expected in the early hours of April 14,” the trans-Baikal territorial emergency situations department told Itar-Tass.

The Emergency Situations Ministry recommended organizations doing outdoor works to protect their personnel and sites.

The state of emergency was declared in the trans-Baikal territory on March 26 due to the severe forest and steppe fires. The burning of dry grass was prohibited but local residents ignored the ban. So, a steppe fire hit Onon-Baza, 200 kilometers away from Chita, on Thursday. Sixty-five people were evacuated. Twenty out of 35 houses burned down, together with nine power line supports. The fire was put out at 8:15 a.m. Moscow time on Friday.

That is the first fire, which spread into a residential area, in Russia this year.

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