Support The Moscow Times!

Russia’s Wildfires Double in Size Within Week – TASS

Environmentalists have warned that this year’s blazes could become the worst in Russia's history. Denis Bushkovsky / TASS

Wildfires currently burning across Russia have doubled in size over the past week, the state-run TASS news agency reported Monday, citing a source in the Federal Forestry Agency.

"Over the week, the total area of ​​forest fires has more than doubled,” TASS quoted its source as saying. “The most difficult situation is developing in Siberia and the Far East."

According to Russia's agency for aerial forest fire management Aviales, a total of 148 forest fires were burning across 67,913 hectares of land as of midnight Monday. At the same time last week, 155 fires were burning across 32,984 hectares of land.

Environmentalists have warned that this year’s blazes could become the worst in Russia's history and exacerbate global climate change. Siberia’s wildfires have already burned an area larger than the size of Greece, Greenpeace Russia said.

The Forestry Agency says it will not extinguish 91% of the fires because they are located in "control zones." Forests fall into control zones when the fires have no effect on local populations and when the cost of extinguishing them is greater than the residual damage of the fires.

Read more

Independent journalism isn’t dead. You can help keep it alive.

The Moscow Times’ team of journalists has been first with the big stories on the coronavirus crisis in Russia since day one. Our exclusives and on-the-ground reporting are being read and shared by many high-profile journalists.

We wouldn’t be able to produce this crucial journalism without the support of our loyal readers. Please consider making a donation to The Moscow Times to help us continue covering this historic time in the world’s largest country.