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Siberian farmers lose $11.9 million due to fires — Russia’s agriculture ministry

April 15, 2015, 17:25 UTC+3 MOSCOW
In the Republic of Khakassia and other regions of the Siberian federal district, the wildfires killed some 1,200 cattle, 8,000 sheep and several hundred pigs and poultry
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© TASS/Alexey Shtokal

MOSCOW, April 15. /TASS/. The farmers have lost more than 600 million rubles ($11.9 million) due to wildfires in the Siberian federal district, according to the preliminary assessment of Russia’s agriculture ministry on Wednesday.

"The overall damage is more than 600 million rubles for farmers," Russian Agriculture Minister Nikolay Fedorov told reporters. Fedorov said this assessment is made as of April 14, adding that the ministry monitors the situation in the regions hit by fires on a daily basis.

In the Republic of Khakassia and other regions of the Siberian federal district, the wildfires killed some 1,200 cattle, 8,000 sheep and several hundred pigs and poultry, Fedorov said.

The acting agriculture minister of Khakassia, Sergey Trufanov, said earlier on Wednesday that the damages of the regional agro-industrial complex exceed 600 million rubles. The fires destroyed livestock facilities and storages worth some 245 million rubles ($4.8 million), he added.

The fires were started in the southeast Siberian region when the farmers began burning the grass in their fields. They spread quickly on April 12 because of strong winds up to 25 meters per second.

The regional government said on Wednesday the fires raging in Khakassia have left 25 people dead and damaged 1,328 private houses across 33 settlements. More than 1,000 people have sought medical assistance. At least four local citizens have gone missing. A source in the republic’s government said up to 29 people might have been killed by fires.

Khakassia’s senator in the Federation Council, Russia’s upper house of parliament, Valentina Petrenko, said 6,000 people have been left homeless following the fires.

A state of emergency has been declared in the region and is due to continue until May 20. The republic’s government said on Wednesday power supplies have been restored in all the settlements of Khakassia, adding that the effort took around one and a half days.

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