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New wildfires spreading in Russian Siberia

April 30, 2015, 9:23 UTC+3 CHITA
About 15 planes and more than 80 helicopters of the Russian Defense Ministry are on standby, ready to airlift personnel and equipment to hard-of-access areas
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© Yevgeny Yepachintsev/TASS

CHITA, April 30. /TASS/. Wildfires raging in Russia’s Siberia keep spreading, with 6,000 hectares more engulged by fires over the past 24 hours.

Wildfires in the worst-hit Trans-Baikal Territory have spread to an area of almost 200,000 hectares in 16 districts.

Dozens of thousands of firefighters are combating the blaze in Siberia.

As of 01:30 GMT on Thursday, 64 wildfires covering an area of 195,000 hectares were fixed in the Trans-Baikal Territory, the regional forestry service reported, adding that 13 fires had been localized.

The fires began in mid-March, destroying already more than 200 residential houses in 18 settlements.

Military planes have made several sorties on Thursday, dumping 170 tons of water on fires to prevent them from spreading towards settlements of Buryatia.

About 15 planes and more than 80 helicopters of the Russian Defense Ministry are on standby, ready to airlift personnel and equipment to hard-of-access areas.

A state of emergency has been declared over wildfires in Siberia, covering the whole territory of the Altai and Trans-Baikal Territories, the Irkutsk and Kemerovo Regions, the republics of Altai and Tyva, as well as 18 districts of Buryatia.

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