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UNESCO natural park fire rages on in Russia’s Yakutia — director

August 24, 2015, 18:09 UTC+3 YAKUTSK
Lenskiye Stolby is a natural park located on the bank of the Lena River in Yakutia, in Russia’s Siberia
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© TASS/Igor Ageenko

YAKUTSK, August 24 /TASS/. A fire at the Lenskiye Stolby natural park in the Russian Republic of Yakutia continues raging on a territory of about 2,000 hectares. The firefighters have failed to extinguish it so far, the park’s director Vasily Kalitin told TASS on Monday.

The fire crews are patrolling the area to prevent the flames from spreading further, Kalitin said.

He added that 34 people, including 22 volunteers and 12 park employees, were fighting the fire. "Another 10 people are expected to join the effort on Tuesday," Kalitin stressed.

The fire broke out in the territory of the park’s tourist complex at 05:00 on Monday morning. The tourists tried to suppress the flames on their own before the volunteers arrived.

Lenskiye Stolby is a natural park located on the bank of the Lena River in Yakutia, in Russia’s Siberia. It is a unique terrain with vertical rocks up to 100 meters high stretching for many kilometres along the riverbank. Scientists believe the rocks formed approximately 400,000 years ago. The park’s total area is 1.3 million hectares.

Last year, Tokyo’s TBS Vision TV crew made a documentary about the Lenskiye Stolby natural park, which is included in the natural heritage list of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO). The documentary consists of various episodes shot - for comparison-in summer and in winter frosts of 40 degrees Celsius.

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