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Putin orders army to fight forest fires in Siberia

Christian Fernsby ▼ | August 1, 2019
The Russian military on Wednesday joined efforts to fight forest fires that have engulfed nearly 30,000 square kilometers of territory in Siberia and the Russian Far East, an area the size of Belgium.
Siberia fire
Russia   Siberia fire
The move, which includes sending military transport planes and helicopters that can drop water on fires, came after an order from Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Russian authorities have declared a state of emergency in five areas, including all of the Irkutsk and Krasnoyarsk regions, which lie north of Mongolia. Siberia’s Krasnoyarsk region, which stretches all the way to the Kara Sea and the Arctic Ocean, can be seen blanketed in smoke by satellite photos from NASA and Europe’s Copernicus Atmosphere Monitoring Service (CAMS).

Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev visited the city of Krasnoyarsk on Wednesday and gave a glum assessment of the forest fires.

“The situation is difficult. Many forests are burning, smog and smoke are observed over many populated areas. The prognosis at this moment is not happy,” he said.