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    Wildfires across Russia abate

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    The Russian area on fire has decreased by 8,000 hectares and is now 56,200 hectares, the Emergencies Ministry said on Saturday.

    The Russian area on fire has decreased by 8,000 hectares and is now 56,200 hectares, the Emergencies Ministry said on Saturday.

    Firefighters have managed to cut by half fires in Moscow region's area from 29 to 16, ministry spokeswoman Irina Andrianova said. Currently, 84 hectares are on fire in Moscow region.

    As wildfires across the region have slacked off, firefighters do not need volunteer's assistance any more, a spokesman for the Moscow region's branch of the Russia's Emergencies Ministry said on Saturday.

    "The situation with the forest and peat bog fires in Moscow region has stabilized. There is no longer need to engage volunteers," the spokesman said.

    He emphasized, that local residents have rendered substantial support to firefighters.

    Peat bog fires have been completely quenched in four Moscow region's districts, Deputy Emergencies Minister Alexander Chupriyan said on Friday.

    A scorching heat wave has gripped much of European Russia since mid-June, which coupled with the worst drought since the 1970s has made the countryside particularly susceptible to wildfires.

    Thousands of emergency workers and military personnel have been working round the clock for almost three weeks to fight fires in 22 Russian regions. The immediate economic cost of the fires has been estimated at $15 billion.

     

    MOSCOW, August 14 (RIA Novosti)

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