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Supervisor Elham AbolFateh
Editor in Chief Mohamed Wadie

Wildfires Consume Over Mln Hectares of Russian Forests


Thu 11 Jul 2024 | 12:16 PM
Israa Farhan

Wildfires have ravaged more than a million hectares of forest in Russia, surpassing the damage seen in recent years, according to the country's authorities on Wednesday.

Russian Emergency Situations Minister Alexander Kurenkov reported that currently, over 500 wildfires are burning across the nation, covering an area exceeding one million hectares.

Since the beginning of the year, around 6,000 wildfires have been recorded, affecting more than 3.5 million hectares.

Although the number of wildfires has decreased compared to last year, Kurenkov noted that the burnt area has increased by 1.5 times.

Over 6,000 personnel have been mobilized to combat the blazes.

Environmental Minister Alexander Kozlov attributed the early onset of this year’s fires to an abnormal heatwave and thunderstorms, which ignited the fires a month earlier than usual.

The hardest-hit regions are in eastern Siberia and the Far East, particularly the sparsely populated Yakutia area, which frequently experiences climatic disasters.

While it is challenging to link any specific wildfire to climate change, it is known to increase the likelihood and severity of such disasters.

Similar patterns have been observed in many countries globally.

Massive wildfires have become a seasonal occurrence in Russia, often affecting remote and sparsely populated areas.

However, these fires sometimes threaten inhabited regions as well. In recent years, wildfires in Russia have started earlier in the season, fueled by rising temperatures.