The military called in to fight 12 million hectares of forests burning in Siberia
Extensive forest fires have been raging for about two weeks in Siberia, Russia. President Vladimir Putin has recently called in the military to help fight the fires.
"After receiving a report from the Minister of Emergency, Putin instructed the Ministry of Defense to join the extinguishing work," states the Kremlin press service to Russian media.
On Wednesday, the fire area covered around three million hectares and the fires have covered entire cities with smoke.
2,700 firefighters are working to fight the fires, according to the Russian news agency Interfax. At the same time, the Ministry of Defence announces that ten fire aircraft and as many helicopters have been sent to the severely affected region of Krasnoyarsk in central Siberia.
Forest fires are common in the Siberian summer heat, but the fires othis season have been greater than usual. Greenpeace Russia estimates that 12 million hectares of forest have been burned so far this year. The extinguishing work is made more difficult by the fact that most of the fires are raging in remote and difficult to reach regions.
PHOTO: (Above) ROSCOSMOS
A satellite image from the Russian space agency Roscosmos shows the forest fires in Siberian Krasnoyarsk on July 31st.