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Over 40% of active wildfires localized in western Siberia, Emergencies Ministry says

It is reported that now there is no threat to settlements

KHANTY-MANSIYSK, August 8. /TASS/. The area of wildfires in the Khanty-Mansi Autonomous Region, in western Siberia, has grown to 83,800 hectares with over 40% of them now localized, the regional Emergencies Ministry reported.

"Some 66 fires are raging across 83,888 hectares in Yugra, with 20 fires on the area of 34,740 hectares localized," the report said.

According to the Emergencies Ministry’s latest data, the team of firefighters involved in extinguishing wildfires in the region has risen to 1,500. "Specialists are working along the frontline, using data on the spreading fires from air observers and space monitoring," the ministry said.

Twelve An-2 and A-22 aircraft and seven helicopters, including five with water discharge devices, are also putting out the fires. "At the moment there is no threat to settlements," the ministry stressed.

The fires were caused by thunderstorms. According to the Yugra Emergencies Ministry’s press service, from August 4 to 8 an emergency fire danger in Yugra is forecast in eight areas: in Beloyarsk, Berezovsky, Oktyabrsky, Sovetsky, Nefteyugansk, Surgutsky regions, urban districts Nyagan and Yugorsk. On July 29, the regional authorities introduced special firefighting measures throughout the region, and on August 2 a state of emergency was declared in the forests due to wildfires. Residents of a large part of Yugra previously complained on social networks about smog and the smell of burning caused by forest fires.