Sections of Russia under state of emergency: Fires kill 25

By ASSOCIATED PRESS
July 31, 2010 10:30




MOSCOW — Russia was mobilizing its army Friday as more than 10,000 firefighters fought to save villages and forests from being reduced to ash and ember during the country's hottest summer on record.

At least 25 deaths were reported in the last three days alone and the Kremlin called out the army to help as fires raged over 214,136 acres (87,000 hectares) of woodland and peat bog.

More than 1,000 homes have been destroyed and thousands of people have been forced to flee as blazes left their houses in smoldering ruins and filled the air with smog and ash.

Weeping women greeted Prime Minister Vladimir Putin on Friday as he visited Verkhnyaya Vereya, a village where all 341 homes were burned to the ground and five residents were killed in the blaze.


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