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Area of wildfires in Russia’s Buryatia grows by 600 hectares over last 24 hours

May 07, 2016, 14:34 UTC+3 ULAD UDE

The fire is being extinguished by a total of 424 people and 86 units of heavy equipment

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© Zorikto Dagbayev/TASS

ULAD UDE, May 7. /TASS/. The area of wildfires in Russia’s Buryatia has grown by 600 hectares over the last 24 hours - from 1,600 to 2,200 hectares, local department of the Forestry Agency said on Saturday.

The fire is being extinguished by a total of 424 people and 86 units of heavy equipment, the agency said. "As of Saturday evening, 20 wildfires in Buryatia continue to be extinguished. Their total area exceeded 2,200 hectares, with around 1,400 hectares being the area of localized wildfires," the agency added noting that fire bases were registered in eight districts. There is no immediate danger for settlements and facilities, it said.

Five wildfires on an area of around 172 hectares have been extinguished over the last 24 hours. "Wildfires started because of careless handling of fire," the forestry agency noted. Since the fire season started in Buryatia, a total of 102 fire bases were registered as they damaged or destroyed around 3,600 hectares of forests.

Last year 375 fire bases were registered by the same date, and the area of wildfires stood at around 30,000 hectares.

State of emergency was declared in Buryatia on May 6 because of wildfires. People are strictly prohibited from entering forested areas.

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