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NOVOSIBIRSK, May 18. /TASS/. The area of forest fires continues to grow in Russia’s Siberian federal district, with another 9,000 hectares engulfed by fires over the past three days, forestry officials say, noting some 46,500 hectares of forestry now ablaze.
Zabaykalsky Krai, a region in Eastern Siberia between Lake Baikal and the Russian Far East, is one of the worst affected areas with fires raging across nearly 38,000 hectares of forest, the forestry department of the Siberian federal district said on Monday.
Southern Siberia has also been hit, including the Buryatia republic where fires have swept across more than 7,000 hectares of forest.
In Russia's Tuva republic, bordering Mongolia, some 500 hectares of forest are alight. Fires are raging across 500 hectares in the Krasnoyarsk Krai. In the Irkutsk region, some 18 hectares of forest are caught up in fires. In the Khakassia republic of southern Siberia, about 13 hectares of forest are ablaze.
Some 81 conflagrations across around 24,100 hectares have been contained over the past 24 hours. More than 2,200 firefighters and 305 pieces of equipment have been mobilised.
Almost all forest fires raging in the district have a human cause, officials say, blaming careless handling of fire.
Some 3,047 outbreaks sweeping across 811,000 hectares have been logged since the start of the fire season this year.
Special fire-fighting mode has been introduced in the Altai republic, the Kemerovo and Irkutsk regions, the Altai Krai, 14 districts in the Novosibirsk region and three districts in the Tomsk region.
Emergency regime is currently in force in the Zabaykalsky Krai, the republics of Tyva and Khakassia, 19 districts in the Buryatia republic and one district in the Omsk region.