Forest fires in the neighboring Tver region are to blame for the faint smell of smoke lingering in Moscow's air over the weekend, but the capital faces no immediate threat, ITAR-Tass reported Sunday.
Strong wind, blowing at five to 10 meters per second, has carried the smoke more than a hundred kilometers to Moscow, but there is no imminent threat of a return to the suffocating smog that smothered the city in summer 2010, Moscow region Forestry Committee spokesman Svyatoslav Neklyayev said in comments carried by ITAR-Tass.
Nearly 200 individual forest fires, many attributed to burning peat moss in dried-out bogs, are billowing smoke throughout the Tver region, the Emergency Situations Ministry said in a statement.
Firefighting aircraft have dropped more than 1,200 tons of water, while some 1,100 individual firefighters operating 220 vehicles are battling the flames.
But Neklyayev said, "there is not a single forest fire in the Moscow region. Thank God."