Military Aircraft Used to Fight Russian Wildfires

Military personnel battle fires in Siberia

 

This satellite image provided by Roscosmos Space Agency, taken on Thursday, Aug. 1, 2019, shows forest fires in Irkutsk region, Eastern Russia. Hundreds of Russian towns and cities are shrouded in heavy smoke from wildfires in Siberia and the Far East Thursday, and the blazes appear to be spreading in remote terrain. (Roscosmos Space Agency via AP)

 

MOSCOW (AP) — Russia’s military says its aircraft dropped more than 1,200 metric tons of water (1,300 short tons) in a single day on wildfires in Siberia and made some progress in extinguishing the vast blazes.

The Russian armed forces said the water from military planes and helicopters doused flames in about 1700 square kilometers (650 square miles) of the Irkutsk and Krasnoyarsk regions on Sunday.

Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered military personnel last week to join the fight against forest fires in Siberia and the Far East that together involved territory about the size of Belgium.

Russia’s aerial forest protection service said fire crews won’t attempt to fight blazes in difficult to reach areas encompassing about 28,000 square kilometers (10,800 square miles.)

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