Catastrophic forest fires in the central Russian Voronezh Region have reached the suburbs of the city of Voronezh. According to the latest information, five people, including one Emergencies Ministry officer, have died.
A total of 271 homes have burned down in the region, leaving more than 500 people homeless. Thousands of people, the patients in three city hospitals and about a dozen children’s camps have been evacuated.
The city authorities have created places for 485 people at four schools and prepared two cultural centers and one hotel for receiving evacuees. They have also initiated the collection of clothes and money for fire victims.
Twenty fires are covering an area of 3,200 hectares (7,910 acres) in the region. Six hundred people and 127 fire-fighting and special vehicles are trying to put out the fires.
The Emergencies Ministry plans to increase the group of the people digging trenches around inhabited areas to 620 and to send another 218 special vehicles to the site. A Be-20 and an Il-76 aircraft will also be used to fight forest fires.