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23 Aug, 2010 12:50

Forest fires put out in Moscow region

Firefighters have succeeded in extinguishing almost all of the blazes in the Moscow region, which is one of the areas worst hit by the deadly flames this summer.

The recent rains have helped greatly in extinguishing the fires, and after two months of ferocious heat, the weather is quite cold in the Moscow region.

According to the Emergencies Ministry, all forest fires in the region have been put out, and only three peat fires covering less than a hectare of land remain. There is also no danger to settlements any more.

Meanwhile, the fires in other parts of the country are still raging.

Fires killed more than 50 people this summer, and several thousand have been left homeless.

The families of those killed in the fires will get over one million roubles (approximately $32,000) in compensation, and everyone who lost their home in the fire has been promised a new one.

In the case of some villages which were burnt down completely, they will be relocated and rebuilt entirely in a new place.

The damage to Russia's budget by the record-breaking heat wave is estimated at $400 million.

Ivan Blokov, Campaign Director at Greenpeace in Russia, says it is too early to assess the ecological consequences of the heat wave. However, the impact on human health is likely to be the worst of all, Blokov suggests.

“It is already predicted that this year people would suffer from influenza [much more] than the previous year. That was the conclusion of the chief sanitary physician of the country,” Blokov said.