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16 Aug, 2010 14:17

Battle continues to contain Russian fires

As officials in the affected areas of Russia continue to insist that they are in control of the situation, Prime Minister Vladimir Putin has called on them to step up their efforts and avert further damage.

The problem is that the control you have is not enough. The situation is unacceptable. We need to be more careful, to minimize the natural damage,” Putin said during his working visit to one of the areas affected by wildfires.

But we have a state of emergency now, so first of all we must take care of the people. We need to contain all the blazes as quickly as possible to prevent such disasters in the years ahead.”

The prime minister and local officials held video conferences with one of the areas where peat bogs are still on fire and discussed ways to contain the blazes as fast as possible.

Meanwhile, Russia’s Emergencies Ministry has claimed that the number of fires have halved in the last 24 hours.

Weather forecasters say temperatures could drop 20 degrees compared with last week: by Friday, day-time temperatures are expected to be around 17C – which is still, however, above average for this time of year.