Forest fires spreading in Siberia despite rains

The fire-stricken forest area in the Siberian Federal District has increased from 17,600 to 17,900 hectares over the past 24 hours, the federal district's Forestry Department said in a statement.

Thirty-eight forest fires have been put out on an area of 17,200 hectares, including ten major fires on an area of 16,100 hectares. The firefighting effort involved personnel of the forestry department, the federal reserve of the airborne firefighting service Avialesookhrana and services from other regions, the statement says.

Thirty forest fires have been localized on an area of 7,300 hectares, including 12 major fires on an area of 5,500 hectares.

As many as 2,871 personnel, 332 pieces of firefighting equipment and 28 aircraft participated in the firefighting effort, plus 362 Avialesokhrana personnel.

Forests are in flames in the Krasnoyarsk territory, in the Tomsk region and in Tuva.

A state of emergency is maintained in the Tomsk region, in Krasnoyarsk territory and in the republic of Tuva. Visitors' access to forests has been curbed in the republic of Altai, in two districts of the Trans-Baikal Territory and in seven districts of the Omsk region.

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