MOSCOW (AP) – The Russian Forest Fire Protection Agency says the fires in Siberia have nearly quintupled in the past week.
The fires come amid a striking heat wave in parts of the vast area. A high temperature of 38 degrees Celsius (100.4 F) was reported a week ago in the city of Verkhoyansk. If the reading is confirmed, this would be the hottest day in the Arctic ever.
According to figures reported by Avialesookhrana, Russia’s airborne forest fire management agency, on Saturday, Siberia burned 1.15 million hectares (2.85 million acres) in areas that cannot be reached by firefighters.
The worst affected area is the Sakha Republic, where Verkhoyansk is located, with a burn of 929,000 hectares.
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