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Wildfires Claim First 2 Deaths

The burnt remains of trees covering a country road.

Wildfires have claimed their first two deaths this year as they burned down dozens of houses in the Far East, news reports said Monday.

A woman in her 70s died Sunday in the hospital after suffering serious burns and injuries from a rapidly spreading fire that entered the village of Tygda in the Amur region last week, RIA-Novosti reported.

The body of one more victim was found in smoldering ruins Friday.

Wildfires destroyed at least 83 buildings, including 46 houses, in Tygda, which had consisted of 1,245 houses. A total of 346 people were injured, RIA-Novosti said.

Wildfires continued to rage in 12 areas of the Amur region on Monday morning.

The Emergency Situations Ministry has warned that wildfires could threaten more than 12,000 cities, towns and villages across Russia this year. Dozens of people died in wildfires in 2010, when central Russia, including Moscow, was blanketed by smoke.

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