The pollutant concentration in Moscow's air due to fires raging in nearby regions increased on Wednesday by 50%, exceeding tenfold the normal levels in the capital, a state environmental agency expert told RIA Novosti.
Moscow has seen record high temperatures for over a month. Ten temperature records have already been broken and each day the temperature is nearing 40 degrees Celsius (104 degrees Fahrenheit). The heat wave in Russia has caused a number of fires, including peat bog fires, creating heavy smog throughout Moscow and the neighboring regions.
Doctors have warned of health dangers caused by the smog, a mixture of smoke from peat fires and gasoline fumes, and have advised the elderly and the very young to remain indoors in the worst affected areas.
Despite the fact that fires in the Moscow region have been extinguished, smoke continues to spread over Moscow.
"Southeasterly winds are dissipating the smoke that hit Moscow's atmosphere during the fires. If there are no more fires, the smoke will also gradually disappear," the ecologist said.
"The situation with the smoke will continue for another couple of days, but by the evening of Thursday or Friday the air could be cleansed with rain. A thunderstorm is expected from the west and may cleanse the air, making it easier to breathe," a deputy director from the Russian Meteorological Office said.
MOSCOW, July 28 (RIA Novosti)