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August 2, 2010

Russian wildfires

Last month, Russia endured the hottest July ever recorded since records began 130 years ago. The intense heat and drought affecting central Russia has been drying out trees and peat marshes, which have been catching fire recently, burning forests, fields and houses across a massive region. Some 500 new fires have been reported in the last 24 hours alone, and a mobilization of hundreds of thousands of emergency workers is underway to combat them. President Dmitry Medvedev has now declared a state of emergency in seven regions. To date, over 1,500 homes have been destroyed and 40 lives have been lost. as wildfires continue across over 300,000 acres. (38 photos total)

A soldier walks past birches, which are charred, damaged by fire on the outskirts of the Russian city of Voronezh on July 30, 2010. (REUTERS/Sergei Karpukhin)

Local residents look at a smoky sky near a peat fire in a forest near the town of Shatura, some 130 km (81 miles) southeast of Moscow, Thursday, July 29, 2010. Peat swamps started burning in central Russia following an unprecedented heat wave. (AP Photo/Sergey Ponomarev) #

A Russian man watches forest fires burn in Beloomut late on August 1, 2010. (ANDREY SMIRNOV/AFP/Getty Images) #

Remains of a burnt building sit amongst ashes outside the town of Vyksa, some 150 km (93 mi) southwest of the Volga city of Nizhny Novgorod on July 29, 2010. (REUTERS/Mikhail Voskresensky) #

A woman reacts near a burning house outside the town of Vyksa, Russia on July 29, 2010. (REUTERS/Mikhail Voskresensky) #

Firefighters work to extinguish a fire near a burning building outside the town of Vyksa, Russia on July 29, 2010. (REUTERS/Mikhail Voskresensky) #

A woman raises her hands to her face, walking away from a scene filled with heavy smoke and fire near Vyksa, Russia on July 29, 2010. (REUTERS/Mikhail Voskresensky) #

Men walk in front of a burning building near Vyksa, Russia on July 29, 2010. (REUTERS/Mikhail Voskresensky) #

A man sits on the ground while a house burns behind him near Vyksa, Russia on July 29, 2010. (REUTERS/Mikhail Voskresensky) #

A local resident runs past part of a peat fire in a forest near the town of Lubertsi, southeast of Moscow in Shatura on July 29, 2010. (AP Photo/Sergey Ponomarev) #

In this July 28, 2010 satellite image released by NASA, smoke from fires near Moscow is visible over central Russia. The small red boxes indicate fires, the image covers 900 km (560 mi) from side to side. The city of Moscow is located near the left edge, in the lower third. (AP Photo/NASA) #

People walk along Moscow's Red Square with St. Basil's Cathedral and the mausoleum of Soviet state founder Vladimir Lenin seen in the background through hazy smoke from forest and peat fires nearby, August 2, 2010. (REUTERS/Alexander Natruskin) #

A man herds goats past a line of military vehicles transporting soldiers to fight forest fires in Ryazanovka, Russia on August 1, 2010. (ARTYOM KOROTAYEV/AFP/Getty Images) #

Strong winds bend trees in the village of Beloomut a burnt landscape, some 130 kilometers from Moscow on July 31, 2010. (ANDREY SMIRNOV/AFP/Getty Images) #

A Russian man walks through the remains of his burnt out home in Voronezh on August 1, 2010. (Alexey SAZONOV/AFP/Getty Images) #

A girl wearing a mask over her mouth and nose looks out from her balcony under smoky skies above the village of Beloomut, Russia on July 31, 2010. (ANDREY SMIRNOV/AFP/Getty Images) #

A plume of smoke rises above a dry forest as it burns near a suburb of the town of Voronezh, Russia on Sunday, Aug. 1, 2010. (AP Photo/Mikhail Metzel) #

A Russian Ministry of Emergency Situations' Ilyushin-76 tanker plane drops some 42 tons of water onto a burning forest near a suburb of the town of Voronezh on Sunday, Aug. 1, 2010. (AP Photo/Mikhail Metzel) #

Flames travel along a forest floor as the parched grass and trees burn near a suburb of Voronezh on Sunday, Aug. 1, 2010. (AP Photo/Mikhail Metzel) #

Embers fly as a firefighter works to extinguish a peat fire in a forest near the village of Ryazanovka, Russia on July 29, 2010. (ARTYOM KOROTAYEV/AFP/Getty Images) #

Local residents form a bucket brigade to carry water to extinguish a peat fire in a forest near the town of Shatura, Russia on Thursday, July 29, 2010. (AP Photo/Sergey Ponomarev) #

A Russian woman holding a baby cries near the remains of her burnt home in Voronezh on August 1, 2010. (Alexey SAZONOV/AFP/Getty Images) #

Ruins of houses which were destroyed by a forest fire on the outskirts of the town Voronezh on Saturday, July 31, 2010. (AP Photo/Mikhail Metzel) #

A charred car rests in front of a chimney - all that remains of a house that was burned to the ground, in the village of Mokhovoe on Friday, July 30, 2010. (AP Photo/Dmitry Chistoprudov) #

A man walks through a stand of charred trees at the edge of Voronezh, central Russia, on July 31, 2010. (Alexey SAZONOV/AFP/Getty Images) #

A firefighter works to extinguish forest fires on the outskirts of the Russian city of Voronezh, July 30, 2010. (REUTERS/Sergei Karpukhin) #

A woman sits surrounded by the remains of her house in the village of Mokhovoye, some 130 kilometers from Moscow on July 31, 2010. (ARTYOM KOROTAYEV/AFP/Getty Images) #

Dry grass burns near the town of Voronezh, Russia on Saturday, July 31, 2010. (AP Photo/Mikhail Metzel) #

The carcass of a charred bird lies in the village of Mokhovoe destroyed by an earlier forest fire, seen on Friday, July 30, 2010. (AP Photo/Dmitry Chistoprudov) #

A local residents tries to find the remains of her belongings in the ruins of a burnt house at the edge of Voronezh, central Russia, on July 31, 2010. (Alexey SAZONOV/AFP/Getty Images) #

A charred car sits near destroyed buildings in the village of Mokhovoe Russia on Friday, July 30, 2010. (AP Photo/Dmitry Chistoprudov) #

Women cover their faces while standing in heavy smoke from fires outside the town of Vyksa, Russia on July 29, 2010. (REUTERS/Mikhail Voskresensky) #

A woman passes by a church while heavy smoke from nearby fires darkens the sky near the town of Vyksa, Rusisa on July 29, 2010. (REUTERS/Mikhail Voskresensky) #

A woman holds religious icons and a cross, as fires burn in the background, outside the town of Vyksa, Russia on July 29, 2010. (REUTERS/Mikhail Voskresensky) #

A firefighter pours water over himself, near a burning house near Vyksa, some 150 km (93 miles) southwest of the Volga city of Nizhny Novgorod on July 29, 2010. (REUTERS/Mikhail Voskresensky) #

A woman walks past a cemetry in the village of Beloomut, air filled with smoke from nearby forest fires on July 31, 2010. (ANDREY SMIRNOV/AFP/Getty Images) #

A firefighter works to extinguish a forest fire burning near Voronezh on Sunday, Aug. 1, 2010. (AP Photo/Mikhail Metzel) #

Russian women remove jars of preserved food from the cellar of their burnt home 15km from Moscow in Ostafyevo on August 2, 2010. (BORIS YELENIN/AFP/Getty Images) #

 
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