Rescuers pulled a body out from a Russian village gutted by wildfires and another person died of their injuries as the death toll from hundreds of blazes nationwide rose to at least 50.
Almost 600 separate fires were still raging, mostly in western Russia, the Emergencies Ministry said Thursday, as the country endured its hottest summer on record.
Thick smog that had blanketed Moscow partially lifted early Thursday but could return with no end in sight to a record heat wave, officials warned.
Temperatures up to 100 degrees Fahrenheit have exacerbated forest and peat bog fires across Russia's central and western regions. The forecast for the week ahead shows little change in the capital and surrounding regions, where the average summer temperature is around 75 Fahrenheit.