A light haze and a burning smell enveloped the city of Moscow today as a result of large forest fires that broke out in a region adjacent to the Russian capital amid heatwave.
According to the Russian Emergencies Ministry, 470 firefighters and 175 vehicles, mainly three aircraft and helicopters, have been deployed to extinguish these fires in the Ryazan region, about 250 km southeast of Moscow.
According to the NGO Greenpeace, which has a presence at the scene, the fires affected an area of more than 33,000 hectares. For his part, the interim governor of the region, Pavel Malkov, wrote on the Telegram application last night that at least 8,000 hectares have burned.
This morning, he said three fires were still raging on an area of 1,810 hectares, mainly in the Oka Nature Reserve and the Meschiorski National Park, vast marshlands.
“There is a strong possibility that the fire is human-caused. And the persistent heat and drought are creating conditions that favor the spread of the fire,” Greenpeace said yesterday, Wednesday. To these are added the strong winds.
The NGO clarifies that these forest fires are affecting a zone that was already affected in 2010 by large fires whose thick smoke had covered the sky of Moscow for days, with serious consequences for health.
Russia, which is particularly affected by the effects of climate change, has been hit in recent years by severe forest fires, particularly in Siberia and the Far East, vast areas that are difficult to access.