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August 11, 2010

Continuing Russian wildfires

Though many have been contained, wildfires continue to rage throughout many parts of Russia. In a new twist to the situation, officials have confirmed that some forests that were contaminated with radiation from the Chernobyl nuclear disaster have now burned, but it was unclear what danger the smoke from such wildfires could pose. Monitoring stations have not registered any increase in radioactivity as yet. Recent windy conditions have temporarily cleared the smoke from Moscow's skies, but it could possibly return soon. The area of burning forests in Russia is now 927 sq km (358 sq mi), down from from 1,740 sq km (676 sq m) only 24 hours ago. The economic costs of the fires are now estimated at up to 15 billion dollars. [This entry is part I of a double-issue today, part II about Pakistan is here]. Collected here are recent photographs from the Russian wildfires. [See previous entry]. (36 photos total)

Light shines through forest fire smoke near a Russian Orthodox church 30km from Moscow in Zelenaya Sloboda late on August 3, 2010. (ARTYOM KOROTAYEV/AFP/Getty Images)

A burning forest is seen near village Dolginino, Russia on August 4, 2010. (ARTYOM KOROTAYEV/AFP/Getty Images) #

In this Wednesday Aug. 4, 2010 file photo a firefighter attempts to extinguish a forest fire near the village of Dolginino in Russia's Ryazan region. (AP Photo/File) #

Soldiers lay a water pipeline through the forest in an attempt to extinguish forest fires in Russia's Vladimir region on August 10, 2010. (REUTERS/Mikhail Voskresensky) #

A military bulldozer makes a clearing in a forest in an attempt to halt the spread of fires in Russia's Kirzhach region on August 9, 2010. (REUTERS/Mikhail Voskresensky) #

Local citizens attempt to extinguish a forest fire near the village of Dolginino, some 180 km (111 mi) southeast of Moscow, Wednesday, Aug. 4, 2010. (AP Photo) #

A Russian man works to stop a fire near the village of Dolginino on August 4, 2010. (ARTYOM KOROTAYEV/AFP/Getty Images) #

A Russian Emergency Ministry Mi-26 helicopter lifts a bucket of water to drop onto a burning forest near the village of Plotava, Russia on Thursday, Aug. 5, 2010. (AP Photo/Sergey Ponomarev) #

A view looking down at a full water bucket suspended below a helicopter before it is released over a forest fire near the settlement of Kustarevka, Russia on August 10, 2010. (REUTERS/Denis Sinyakov) #

A helicopter drops water over a forest fire near the settlement of Kustarevka, Russia on August 10, 2010. (REUTERS/Denis Sinyakov) #

A firefighter walks in a field while smoke from a wildfire clouds the air outside the settlement of Kustarevka, Russia on August 10, 2010. (REUTERS/Denis Sinyakov) #

An image released by NASA on August 8, 2010 and taken by the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on NASA's Aqua satellite on August 7 shows fires burning around Moscow. Red outlines indicate actively burning fires, and multiple fires cluster east of Moscow, many of them sending their smoke right over the city. Smoke almost completely hides the land surface throughout this scene. (AFP/Getty Images/NASA Earth Observatory) #

People walk in front of St. Basil's Cathedral shrouded in smog in Moscow, August 4, 2010. Air quality levels in Moscow tumbled to an eight-year low on Wednesday as the Russian capital was blanketed in thick smoke from forest and peat fires, said Moscow's state agency for monitoring air pollution. (REUTERS/Sergei Karpukhin) #

A small dog wears a face mask for protection against forest fire smoke in Moscow on August 10, 2010. (VIKTOR DRACHEV/AFP/Getty Images) #

A river boat makes its way on the Moskva River, as the Kremlin is seen through heavy smog covering Moscow, Russia, Friday, Aug. 6, 2010. (AP Photo/Misha Japaridze) #

A forest is on fire outside the town of Novovoronezh, some 40 km (25 miles) south of the city of Voronezh, August 2, 2010. (REUTERS/Sergei Karpukhin) #

The burnt-out trunk of a tree is seen in a forest near a village of Zdorovie, Russia on August 10, 2010. (VIKTOR DRACHEV/AFP/Getty Images) #

A Russian woman wears a mask as she stands in the burnt out village of Mokhovoye, Lukhovitsi municipal district, some 130 kilometers from Moscow, on August 3, 2010. (ANDREY SMIRNOV/AFP/Getty Images) #

Russia's Prime Minister Vladimir Putin, wearing headphones, sits in the cockpit of a firefighting plane in Ryazan region August 10, 2010. Putin, who has sought to burnish his action-man image and minimize political fallout from wildfires and drought, flew in a firefighting plane that dropped water on a blaze southeast of Moscow, state media reported. (REUTERS/Ria Novosti/Pool/Alexei Nikolsky) #

A Russian man walks in a forest near the village of Golovanovo, Ryazan region, on August 5, 2010. (NATALIA KOLESNIKOVA/AFP/Getty Images) #

A man tries to stop fire near the village of Murmino on August 6, 2010. (ARTYOM KOROTAYEV/AFP/Getty Images) #

Natalia Solonina, 70, stands in front of charred chimneys, all that was left of several houses, after a spreading wildfire burned them to the ground as well as the entire village of Peredeltsy in Russia's Ryazan region on Saturday, Aug. 7, 2010. (AP Photo/Sergey Ponomarev) #

People pray in the village of Kriusha, Ryazan region, on August 5, 2010. (NATALIA KOLESNIKOVA/AFP/Getty Images) #

In this photo taken on Saturday, Aug. 7, 2010 a forest fire spreads near the village of Verkhnyaya Vereya in Nizhny Novgorod region. (AP Photo/Alexander Zemlianichenko Jr.) #

Soldiers hose water onto smoldering tree trunks in a forest in the Noginsk district some 70 km east of Moscow, Tuesday, Aug. 10, 2010 to prevent resumption of fire. (AP Photo/Misha Japaridze) #

Valentina Kotikova, whose mother died from a stroke, reportedly because their house was burned to the ground, stands at the site of fire in the village of Peredeltsy Russia's Ryazan region on Thursday, Aug. 5, 2010. (AP Photo) #

Residents attempt to extinguish a fire near the village of Polyaki-Maydan, Russia on August 9, 2010. (REUTERS/Denis Sinyakov) #

A Russian man walks through smoke on a road near the village of Mokhovoye, Russia on August 3, 2010. (ANDREY SMIRNOV/AFP/Getty Images) #

Russian women look inside the charred carcass of a building 450km south of Moscow in Izlegoshche on August 6, 2010. The village of Izlegoshche was completely destroyed by Russia's worst ever wildfires and will not be rebuilt according to an administrative decision. (Alexey SAZONOV/AFP/Getty Images) #

A Russian rides a motorcycle in the village of Kriusha, Ryazan region, on August 5, 2010. (NATALIA KOLESNIKOVA/AFP/Getty Images) #

Moscow's St. Basil's Cathedral is seen through the heavy smog covering Moscow, Russia, late Friday, Aug. 6, 2010, as tourists walk through. (AP Photo/Alexander Zemlianichenko) #

A boat travels along the Moskva River shrouded by heavy smog, caused by peat fires in nearby forests, in Moscow August 9, 2010. (REUTERS/Alex Aminev) #

A newly married couple, no name given, celebrates their wedding despite the deep layer of smog from wildfires covering the ancient Russian city of Ryazan on August 7th, 2010. (AP Photo/Sergey Ponomarev) #

A man tries to put out a fire near the Russian village of Murmino on August 5, 2010. (ARTYOM KOROTAYEV/AFP/Getty Images) #

A fire in a forest burns near the village Golovanovo, Ryazan region, on August 5, 2010. (NATALIA KOLESNIKOVA/AFP/Getty Images) #

Russians try to stop fire spreading near the village Golovanovo, Ryazan region, on August 5, 2010. (NATALIA KOLESNIKOVA/AFP/Getty Images) #

 
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