Water drops from military aircraft douse some Russia fires


In this photo provided by Ministry of Emergency Situations of Krasnoyarsk Region on Saturday, Aug. 3, 2019, a fire in a forest in Krasnoyarsk Region, Eastern Russia. The head of Russia’s meteorological service says he sees global climate change as a factor behind the wildfires blazing throughout Siberia and the country’s Far East. (Ministry of Emergency Situations of Krasnoyarsk Region via AP)

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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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