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Russian forest fires kill at least 25

07-31-2010 09:46 BJT Special Report:Forest Fires Ravage Russia |

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Forest fires raging across Russia have killed at least 25 people -- including three firefighters -- by Friday evening.

The blazes quickly spread across more than 90-thousand hectares in recent days, after a record heat wave and severe drought.

The country's Emergency Ministry says infernos in three areas, including Moscow, have burned down more than one-thousand buildings, and left over two-thousand people homeless. Fires were also raging in 11 other regions in central and southern Russia.

July has been the hottest month in Moscow in over a century. Much of this year's wheat harvest has been ruined.

Russian President Dmitry Medvedev says the government should come up with special aid programs to help the affected areas.

Dmitry Medvedev, Russian President, said, "We need to prepare special programs for each of the regions that have suffered from fires, in order to provide temporary housing for those who lost their homes, and also to build new houses from modern quality materials, using fast construction technologies. I am ready to give directives to the government, in case additional financing is required."


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