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Russian Fires: Black Days

  • August 3rd, 2010
  • Posted by EUEditor

russia-fires.jpgThe Russian President Dmitry Medvedev has declared a state of emergency across seven regions of Central Russia  as the forest fires got worse on Monday and Tuesday, with mounting loss of life – and with agricultural losses, a heavy toll on the economy.


Authorities on Tuesday (3.8.10) were deploying emergency powers to keep people away from dangerous areas and secure parts of the country open to looting after fires had been through.

The number believed killed had risen to at least 40, with 2000 homes lost, as over 520 fires blazed, with new outbreaks constantly flaring up, though mostly being spotted and put out.

The seven regions know under emergency orders, including the Moscow region, are mostly South and East of the capital, with fires burning through 172 000 hectares of forest country, farmland and peat bogs.

A thick pall of smoke extends over much of Central Asia; in Russia over 180000 firefighters are deployed, including army units, backed up with 45 aircraft and other equipment pulled in for the fight.


The devastation comes as part of the worst drought in 50 years, and a prolongued heat wave.

It is having severe economic impacts, with as much as 20% of the Russian wheat crop lost, and a further threat to Winter planting.

That has raised world concerns about food supply, prices for wheat rising as sharply on the Chicago exchange, and elsewhere, as at the time of records being set in the 1970s.


BBC News, London, “Fires still spreading in parched Russia”, 3.8.10., (3.8.10).

Maria Kolesnikova, “Russian Wildfires Kill 40 People …”, Bloomberg, NY, 3.8.10., (3.8.10).

Maria Kolesnikova, “Worst Russian Drought in 50 Years Threatens Next Crop”, Bloomberg, NY, 3.8.10., (3.8.10).