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Zone of Siberian wildfires doubles, fire area compared to Hong Kong’s territory

April 16, 2015, 9:07 UTC+3 NOVOSIBIRSK

The area of devastating forest fires in Russia's Siberis is estimated at 108,000 hectares

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© Yevgeny Yepachintsev/TASS

NOVOSIBIRSK, April 16. /TASS/. The area of devastating forest fires in Russia’s Siberia has doubled in size over the past 24 hours to 108,000 hectares and can be compared to the territory of Hong Kong or two Bahrains.

There are currently a total of 115 fire areas in the region. The forestry department of the Siberian federal district said on Thursday the most serious situation is in the Trans-Baikal Territory where 93 fire areas have been registered across 105,000 hectares.

Wildfires have also burned the territory of Buryatia, Tuva, Khakassia and the Irkutsk region. The fire-fighting operations involve some 2,700 people and around 500 fire engines.

Over the past 24 hours, 42 large fire areas stretching across 20,000 hectares have been extinguished. The most dangerous situation is now seen in the Trans-Baikal Territory where 104,000 hectares of taiga and steppe are burning.

Warm windy weather is blamed for the spread of wildfires. The main cause of the disaster is human factor. Over the past two days, 21,000 people have been affected, 203 houses in 18 settlements have been burned and 284 cottages have been damaged by fires.

A total of 836 forest fires have been registered across 209,800 hectares since the fire season started. In Russia’s Far East, most wildfires were seen in the Amur region, where 21,800 hectares have been burned over the past 24 hours.

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