The huge forest fires in Siberia have been extinguished, the Russian authorities report on Monday. Exactly how much land has burned down in the last few months is not clear at this time. According to The Moscow Times, an area the size of Belgium was lost because of the fires.
The fires have also caused at least 91.5 million euros in damage, writes the Russian newspaper. Hundred smog smothered hundreds of villages and towns because of the smoke.
The fire raged in various regions where large forest fires often occur in the summer. But the affected area is larger than normal this year, the NASA space agency concluded last summer based on satellite photos. "Scientists have observed an unprecedented number of forest fires since June."
Many fires were caused by natural conditions, such as the lightning strike and the high temperatures in the summer. But there is also a large amount of fires caused by humans. Sometimes there is even intention, according to the authorities. Perhaps the perpetrators are trying to prevent them from being arrested for illegal logging.
Most fires not fought because of location
The majority of fires raged in remote and unreachable areas where no people live. Because these were difficult to combat and did not pose an immediate danger to people, these fires were only monitored.
The authorities have recently deployed thousands of firefighters and dozens of fire-fighting vehicles in the fight against the huge fires. The last seven fires were extinguished on Sunday. A total of 31 Russian regions are currently classified as risk areas.
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