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23,000 wildfires have hit Russia

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23,000 wildfires have hit Russia


Russian firefighters have had to deal with more than 23,000 wildfires since June when soaring temperatures turned vast areas of countryside into a tinderbox.

At least 40 people have died in the past week, and about 2,000 families have lost their homes.

Fires are raging around the capital, destroying villages where the ground is largely made up of peat.

Moscow was also forced to mobilise extra firefighters to protect the major nuclear facility at Sarov, in the region of Nizhny Novgorod.

Investment in firefighting equipment has shrivelled since the collapse of the Soviet union and a new Forest Code introduced by Vladimir Putin four years ago disbanded a centralised system of forest protection.

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