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Fire area in 2014 three times bigger than last year — deputy PM

More than 200 forest fires are blazing on over 92,000 hectares in Siberia regions mostly

MOSCOW, July 16. /ITAR-TASS/. The area of forest fires in Russia has extended three times since the beginning of 2014 against the same period last year, Deputy Prime Minister Alexander Khloponin told the regional leaders on Wednesday during the telephone conference on forest fires.

“Unfortunately, according to the statistics I have received, the situation is far behind the ideal. The number of fires since the beginning of this year is two times bigger than for the same period last year, while the area of fire extension is even three times bigger than last year”, he said.

The statistics of Federal Forestry Agency says Russia is currently suffering from 214 forest fires on over 92,000 hectares in Siberia regions mostly. The situation is especially tough in the Irkutsk and Krasnoyarsk regions, where fires spread on 60,000 and 19,000 hectares respectively. The forests of Yakutsk region are also blazing.

Khloponin said that there were no such weather anomalies this year as in 2010. However, there have already been 12,600 fires in Russia in 2014, which have raged on over 1.8 million hectares of forests. Last week the deputy described the situation to Russia’s Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev, who was very dissatisfied with the poor preparation of the country for the fire season.