Apr 14, 2015

Siberian wildfires kill 23, leave 5,000 homeless

Chita, Zabaykalsky Krai
Russia
by
Michael Winter
,
USA Today
Map of Russian federal subjects belonging to Siberia. Image: Hellerick
Map of Russian federal subjects belonging to Siberia. Image: Hellerick

Emergency Situations Minister Vladimir Puchkov said 6,000 firefighters, aided by aircraft, had extinguished blazes in 38 villages. Russian President Vladimir Putin personally coordinated the operations, his spokesperson said...Officials cited unseasonably dry, hot weather, "uncharacteristically strong and rough winds" and uncontrolled burning for the severity of this year's destruction. Temperatures in Khakassia hit 77 degrees Fahrenheit on Sunday, when the fires erupted. The region's average April temperature is just above freezing.