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CHITA, April 27. /TASS/. Strong winds have increased the forest fire spread in Russia’s Siberia, including in Buryatia where the area hit by blaze has grown from 68 hectares to 5,000 hectares and in the Trans-Baikal Territory, where fires are burning the area of 172,000 hectares.
The main cause of the disaster is human factor, local forestry department officials say. The fires were started when the farmers began burning the dry grass in their fields.
Since mid-April, a state of emergency has been declared in the forests of Buryatia, except for two northern districts. In the Trans-Baikal Territory, which has been hit by the disaster from March 19, there are now a total of 60 forest fires.
The fire-fighting effort involves 1,500 people, including 481 paratroopers. The fire has destroyed more than 200 houses in 18 settlements of the region. Four people died and another 813 have been injured.