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    Over 200 wildfires still raging in Russia - ministry

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    Slightly over 200 wildfires are still raging in European Russia on an area of 6,391 hectares, although their number has dropped by 36 in the past twenty-four hours, the Emergencies Ministry said on Sunday.

    Slightly over 200 wildfires are still raging in European Russia on an area of 6,391 hectares, although their number has dropped by 36 in the past twenty-four hours, the Emergencies Ministry said on Sunday.

    Over the past day, 86 new fires have emerged in Russia while 122 have been extinguished. As many as 114 wildfires on an area of 1,834 hectares have been brought under control, the ministry said.

    There are also 21 large wildfires raging on an area of 3,353 hectares, including 20 peat bog fires, the ministry said.

    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 the fires in 22 regions that have claimed 53 lives and left over 3,500 people homeless. The immediate economic cost of the fires has been estimated at $15 billion.

     

    MOSCOW. August 22 (RIA Novosti)

     

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