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21 dead in fire in Russian Urals forests

  • Cars burned by the fire. AFP

  • Efforts to put out the fire continue. A.B

  • Authorities promised a quick extinguishing of the fire. A.B


The death toll from forest fires in Russia's Ural Mountains rose to 21 on Tuesday, Russia's official TASS news agency said, citing local emergency agencies. Wildfires broke out in the Ural mountain city of Kurgan and in Siberia throughout the week. A resident of the western Siberian province of Tyumen died while trying to put out a fire. Local authorities said most of the deaths occurred last Sunday in the village of Yoldus in Kurgan province, which borders the Urals and Siberia.

Regional emergency service officials said the death toll could rise. Authorities imposed a state of emergency in the province, with more than 5000,<> buildings burned. Fires also ravaged thousands of acres in the Sverdlovsk region and the Omsk and Tyumen regions of Siberia.

Russia has seen huge forest fires in recent years, and experts say this is caused by unusually dry summers and high temperatures.

President Vladimir Putin has called on the authorities to take tougher measures to prevent forest fires and strengthen coordination between various official agencies to deal with them.

Russia has seen huge wildfires in recent years, which experts say is caused by unusually dry summers and high temperatures.