02:57 GMT +317 February 2019
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    Firefighters create a firebreak near a home in Middletown, Calif

    Russia Offers to Help US Suppress California Wildfires

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    Russia offered to send aircraft and ground support to the affected US areas, as well as professional rescue workers with the necessary equipment to extinguish forest fires.

    MOSCOW (Sputnik) — Russian Emergencies Minister Vladimir Puchkov sent on Tuesday an offer to his US counterpart of assistance in suppressing the ongoing wildfires in the state of California.

    On Monday, officials confirmed that a fast-moving wildfire in the US state had killed at least one elderly woman at the weekend, marking the first civilian fatality during the recent wildfires. The blaze also destroyed some 400 homes and injured four firefighters, according to the officials.

    "In connection with the of spread wildfires on the territory of the State of California, I would like to offer practical assistance granted by the Russian Emergencies Ministry in the elimination of the natural disaster," the minister said in a statement to Craig Fugate, head of the Federal Emergency Management Agency.

    In particular, the Russian Ministry said it was ready to immediately send aircraft and ground support to the affected US areas, as well as professional rescue workers with the necessary equipment to extinguish forest fires.

    In late July and August, over 73,000 acres of forest were burnt by wildfires in Northern California, destroying dozens of buildings and residences and forcing local authorities to declare a state of emergency in at least ten counties in the state, both those threatened and those already affected.

    California has witnessed over 2,400 wildfires since the beginning of the year — about 800 more than the average for the last five years, according to the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection.


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