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Siberia & Urals suffocated in smoke amid massive wildfires (VIDEOS)

Siberia & Urals suffocated in smoke amid massive wildfires (VIDEOS)
Over two million hectares of forest is burning in hard-to-reach areas in Yakutia, Krasnoyarsk and Irkutsk Regions, with smoke causing severe ecological deterioration in most of Siberia and as far as the Urals.

Russia’s space agency, Roscosmos, has released a satellite image that helps to illustrate the scale of the disaster.

A total of 109 wildfires, spanning almost 900,000 hectares, were raging in Krasnoyarsk Region on Thursday, the local authorities said, adding that six blazes were put out over the course of the day.

Over 770,000 hectares of forest were burning in Yakutia, with another 500,000 hectares on fire in nearby Irkutsk Region.

The wildfires didn’t threaten any towns and villages, but this didn’t mean that people weren’t affected. The smoke has spread to most of Siberia, including Krasnoyarsk, Irkutsk, Altay, Novosibirsk, Omsk and Tomsk Regions, as well as the Republic of Khakassia.

Airports in several local towns in Irkutsk Region, which cater for local flights, have temporarily halted their operations due to the fumes. Pilots decided against attempting to land due to almost zero visibility around the airstrips.

Residents of major cities in the Urals like Chelyabinsk, Tyumen, Kurgan and others also complained about air pollution.

Weather conditions aren’t helping firefighters in their efforts to combat the blazes, as forecasters have predicted temperatures rising to 30 Celsius, as well as stronger winds in some of the affected areas until the end of the week.

In April, large wildfires led to an emergency being declared in the Siberian region of Trans-Baikal. The blaze hit populated areas, destroying over 100 houses, and leaving 400 people without their property.

Also on rt.com Hundreds lose homes as HUGE wildfires ravage Russia’s Trans-Baikal (VIDEOS, PHOTOS)

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