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14:31 GMT +3 hours18 December 2014
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Nine forest fires extinguished in Russia's Far East over past 24 hours

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Firefighters and rescuers in Russia's Far East extinguished nine forest fires over the past 24 hours and continue battling 20 more forest fires, the regional emergencies ministry said on Sunday.

Firefighters and rescuers in Russia's Far East extinguished nine forest fires over the past 24 hours and continue battling 20 more forest fires, the regional emergencies ministry said on Sunday.

"Satellite monitoring and aircraft surveillance registered a total of 29 forest fires in the past 24 hours; nine of them were extinguished and nine more localized," the ministry said in a statement.

The remaining forest fires had spread over the total area of about 54 hectares, the ministry added.

Wildfires in forested regions of Russia are common during the dry and hot summer season. Most of the time, the fires start because of the careless behavior of local residents in the woods.

Wildfires devastated a number of regions in central Russia last summer, killing 62 people and leaving thousands homeless.