Forests in fire in Russia

Sixty-five seats of natural fires embracing 791.9 hectares have been registered in Russia at present, RIA Novosti was told in the information department of the Emergencies Ministry of Russia.

According to the ministry's data, over past 24 hours the territory engulfed by fires made up about 140 hectares.

No threat has been reported to settlements, natural reserves, oil and gas pipelines, the emergencies ministry's spokesman said.

According to him, involved in extinguishing forest fires are 2,197 people, 607 units of hardware and two aircraft.

In line with the forecasts for emergency situations for 2004 which was prepared by the emergencies ministry, the expected parameters of natural fires on Russia's territory will be somewhat different from the average many-year indices but lower as compared to 2003. Last year the area engulfed by natural fires increased by 150 per cent as against average many-year indices, and by 30 per cent as compared to 2002. The number of seats of natural fires in 2003 has grown by 40 per cent as compared to average many-year indices.

The forecast of the ministry for natural fires in Russia in 2003 has proved to be true.

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