Wildfires Burn in Siberia, Russian Far East

Russian wildfires
This image taken from video provided by the Russian Emergency Ministry Sunday, June 13, 2021 shows a view of a forest fire in Irkutsk region. To eliminate the emergency situation associated with forest fires in the Katangsky region, an Il-76 aircraft of the Ministry of Emergencies of Russia arrived in the Irkutsk region. As of the morning of June 13, 2021, around 13 wildfires are active in the region on a total area of 34149.4 hectares. (Russian Emergency Ministry Press Service via AP)

MOSCOW (AP) — Russian emergency workers fought wildfires burning Sunday on more than 550 square kilometers (212 square miles) of territory mostly in Siberia and the Far East.

The state agency responsible for fighting forest fires, Avialesookhrana, said the largest blaze was in the far northeast’s Sakha Republic, where 34,000 hectares (74,000 acres) were on fire. The Irkutsk region in Siberia had fires encompassing about 20,000 hectares (49,500 acres), the agency said.

There were no immediate reports of deaths or residential damage in the sparsely populated regions.

In recent years, Russia has experienced especially widespread forest fires, which experts blame on unusually dry summers and high temperatures.

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