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CHITA, May 11. /TASS/. The wildfire area in the Trans-Baikal Territory in East Siberia has grown three-fold to 11,000 hectares over the past 24 hours, the region’s state forest service said on Wednesday.
"As of 8:00 a.m. local time there are 41 wildfires in the Trans-Baikal Territory on the total area of more than 11,000 hectares, and over 10,000 hectares are covered with forest," the service said adding that the wildfires have been registered in 14 districts of the territory.
The firefighting effort currently involves 951 people and 155 pieces of equipment. Late on Monday, two Il-76 aircraft arrived in Chita bringing more than 100 smokejumpers.
Last year, wildfires hit the Trans-Baikal Territory in March and were extinguished only in August. The damage to the state reached almost 430 million rubles ($6.5 million). Some 3.6 cu m of forest burnt out or were damaged. The fire killed 10 people, injured 48 others, destroyed 174 houses and left more than 500 people homeless.