CHITA, May 30. /TASS/. Forest fires raging through Siberia’s Trans-Baikal Region have more than doubled in one day from 1,200 hectares to 2,700 hectares, the regional Natural Resources and Ecology Department reported today.
"On Monday morning, there were five blazes in the region scorching a total of 1,300 hectares, while four more blazes engulfing 288.5 hectares had been contained. In addition, two forest fires are raging on the Russian Defense Ministry’s territory of 40 hectares, and one fire covering 1,000 hectares has been contained. There is no danger to any communities," the statement said.
The main culprit for the fires, according to the regional department, is human activity, whereas they keep spreading because of a higher daytime temperature and powerful winds. A total of 447 people, including 160 paratroopers, and 78 military vehicles are engaged in the fire-fighting operations.
The conflagration worsened in some Siberian regions last week. Blazes broke out in 10 communities in the Krasnoyarsk and Irkutsk Regions, consuming 179 buildings in their path that were home to 720 people, six economic facilities and 15 non-residential facilities. Three people lost their lives as the blazes tore through the Krasnoyarsk Region. The Trans-Baikal Region has been placed under a state of emergency restricting access to forests, or entering them in any vehicles.