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Wildfire situation still tense in Russia, but no threat to settlements — ministry

According to the press service of the Russian Ministry for Emergency Situations, currently there are 524 wildfires in Russia, 82 of which have been localized

MOSCOW, July 15./TASS/. The fire situation remains tense across Russia although the number of fires and the affected areas have decreased. Despite the fires, there is no threat to local settlements, the press service of the Russian Ministry for Emergency Situations told TASS on Thursday.

"Special fire prevention mode is still in place in 58 Russian regions," the press service said. It noted that this year, 3.5% fewer wildfires have been reported as compared with the same period in 2020, and 24.6% fewer areas are covered by fire. However, the situation is still difficult.

Overall, 9,800 wildfires have been recorded in the country this year, mainly in the Siberian, Urals and Far Eastern federal districts. "Currently, there are 524 wildfires in the country, 82 of which have been localized," the press service said. Eleven wildfires are raging within the zone of five kilometers from local settlements, but there is no threat to the settlements and economic facilities, the emergencies ministry said.

Deputy emergencies minister Ilya Denisov told a session on the fire situation in the Central, Volga River, North-Western and Southern federal districts that firefighters had managed to prevent the fire from spreading to the local settlements in 15 incidents. This was possible due to the coordinated work of 1,500 specialists assisted by 386 units of hardware, he stressed.

According to weather forecasts, Central Russia, the Volga River Federal District, North Caucasus and the south of Russia, are facing a heatwave, which may increase the risk of new fires. Denisov ordered the local emergencies authorities to take preventive measures and be ready to react to the threat promptly.