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    Wildfires in Russia shrink by 8,000 hectares in one day

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    Areas affected by wildfires in Russia were reduced by some 8,000 hectares over the past 24 hours, the Emergencies Ministry said on Monday.

    Areas affected by wildfires in Russia were reduced by some 8,000 hectares over the past 24 hours, the Emergencies Ministry said on Monday.

    The number of hotspots decreased fourfold, the ministry said.

    Two NASA satellites registered a total of 371 hotspots across Russia on Sunday, according to the ScanEx website that receives information from the satellites.

    A total of 515 firefighters and 96 pieces of equipment were sent to Russia from abroad to battle the fires.

    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.

    Russian Railways (RZD) dispatched on Monday special trains to fight wildfires in the Moscow Region. These trains can carry 240 tons of water each, enough to put out a peat bog fire with an area of 240 sq. m.

    Thousands of emergency workers and military personnel have been working round the clock for almost three weeks to fight the fires in 22 regions, which have so far left over 3,500 homeless. The immediate economic cost of the fires has been estimated at $15 billion.

     

    MOSCOW, August 16 (RIA Novosti)

     

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