Fire in Russia
Thursday, 13 August 2015
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13 August 2015
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Description of the event
A heat wave in Russia's Siberian District has started over one hundred forest fires in the Buryatia and Irkustkaya Republics.
The fires began in July and despite efforts to fight the blazes, the fires have spread to cover an area of approximately 100,000 hectares.
45 people had to be evacuated from Lake Baikal, a popular tourist destination in the summer, due to the fires. The evacuees reported black skies and choking ash in the air as the thick blanket of smoke covered the area.
The fires are proving difficult to stop due to the ongoing heat wave, but also because the area is suffering a drought, which has resulted in a scarcity of water. Temperatures of 38 degrees celsius have been reported in the region. Further contributing to the problem are strong winds that feed the fires and spread them further. Because of these winds some methods of fire containment have been rendered impossible.
Almost four thousand fire fighters have been working to quell the fires, and special equipment and aircraft are being utilised in their efforts.