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Wildfire Engulfs Hillside Near Black Sea Resort Town in Southern Russia

The overnight wildfire seen burning through forests near Gelendzhik. Andrei Khrapov / TASS

Russian firefighters battled a wildfire near the popular resort town of Gelendzhik in southern Russia overnight Tuesday, tackling the blaze from land and air, authorities and media reported.

The blaze moved fast through woodland in the area as a result of strong winds, as well as the challenging mountainous terrain of the area, Russia's Emergencies Ministry said. 

Two Mi-8 helicopters, two Be-200 amphibious planes and 400 people were deployed in the firefighting efforts, with some 118 hectares of woodland burned around the Black Sea resort area, according to officials.

Images and videos shared online showed the blaze engulfing several hills overlooking Gelendzhik, which is located in southern Russia's Krasnodar region.

Police detained a local resident who is suspected of starting the fire, the local branch of the Interior Ministry said Tuesday. 

According to a preliminary investigation, the 40-year-old man had been stripping electrical wires he sought to sell when they overheated, thus causing a small fire that later spread to the surrounding woods.

No casualties or imminent threats to infrastructure were reported.

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