Published On: Tue, Aug 27th, 2019

Russia fires: Panic as 91 separate forest fires rage – Putin declares state of emergency | World | News

Officials from the Aerial Forest Protection Service (AFPS) said more than 90 separate wildfires had been registered in territory covering 43,300 hectares. An AFPS spokesman said 1,200 personnel from 133 fire units had been deployed to combat the fires. He said firefighters had extinguished 36 wildfires in the past 24 hours.

The spokesman said: “As of 12am Moscow time on 27 August 2019, 91 wildfires were registered on the territory of 43,335 hectares in Russia, with active firefighting efforts underway.”

Most wildfires are raging in heavily forested region of Krasnoyask, Kamchatka and Chukotka regions.

Forest fires have also been reported in Irkutsk, Amur, Magadan, Yakutia and Zabaikalye regions.

Eastern Russia and Siberia has struggled with massive forest fires all summer.

Acting Head of the Federal Forestry Agency Mikhail Klinov said the damage from the blazes has reached £87m since the beginning of the year.

The environmental cost of the wildfires is also high with experts estimating more than 130 megatons of carbon dioxide – the equivalent to the exhaust fumes from 36 million cars – have been released into the atmosphere.

READ MORE: Amazon rainforest fires: Macron blasted a ‘cretin’ by Bolsonaro ally

More than 13.1 million hectares have burned, including 4.3 million hectares of forest in Siberia.

Meanwhile, scientists are warning of the devastation caused by wildfires in the Amazon rainforests of Brazil.

Startling images created using data from NASA’s Atmospheric Infrared Sounder (AIRS) instrument aboard the Aqua satellite show a giant carbon monoxide plume gathering over Brazil.

Brazilian authorities are struggling to control the fires raging in the Amazon rainforest.

On Friday, the country’s President Jair Bolsonaro announced 44,000 soldiers would be sent to help battle the fires, which are scattered across a region 10 times the size of Texas.

Brazil’s satellite monitoring agency has recorded more than 41,000 fires in the Amazon region so far this year – with more than half of those coming this month alone.

Experts say most of the fires are set by farmers or ranchers clearing existing farmland.

The Amazon is several months into its dry season, during which these fires can more easily spread out of control.

Environmentalists say that those setting the fires have been emboldened because they hear President Jair Bolsonaro calling for more development of the Amazon and think they will not be punished.

Deforestation has risen 67 percent year-on-year in the first seven months of 2019 and more than tripled in July alone.

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