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Forest fires sweep 120,000 hectares in Russia’s Siberia

April 17, 2015, 9:55 UTC+3 NOVOSIBIRSK
The main cause of the disaster is human factor: the fires started when the farmers began burning the grass in their fields, they spread quickly because of strong winds
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© Amur Region Branch of Russia's Ministry of Emergency Situations/TASS

NOVOSIBIRSK, April 17. /TASS/. Ninety five wildfires are raging on 118,500 hectares in five Siberian regions, the forestry department of the Siberian federal district said on Friday.

The area of forest fires in Siberia has grown in the past 24 hours by 10,000 hectares, and almost all the fires are registered in the Trans-Baikal Territory, where 114,800 hectares of forest are burning.

The fire has also affected the republics of Buryatia and Tyva, the Irkutsk region and the Krasnoyarsk Territory, the press service said.

Over the past 24 hours, 65 wildfires on the forest reserve land of 13,600 hectares were extinguished in the Siberian federal district. The fires were also put out in the Trans-Baikal and Krasnoyarsk Territories, the republics of Altai, Khakassia, Buryatia, Tyva and the Irkutsk region.

Thirty three major forest fires were extinguished on the area of 13,300 hectares in Buryatia and the Trans-Baikal Territory.

The fire-fighting operations involved around 3,000 specialists and 554 fire engines.

A special fire prevention regime was introduced in the Irkutsk region, the Altai Republic, the Tyva Republic, the Trans-Baikal Territory, in 18 districts of Buryatia and in one district of the Krasnoyarsk Territory.

A state of emergency is in force across the Trans-Baikal Territory and the republic of Khakassia, in 19 districts of Buryatia and in one district of the Krasnoyarsk Territory.

The main cause of the disaster is human factor. The fires started when the farmers began burning the grass in their fields. They spread quickly because of strong winds.

A total of 883 wildfires have been registered on the territory of around 250,000 hectares in the Siberian federal district since the fire season started.

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