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Death toll from wildfires in Russia’s Urals hits 21, authorities suspect

The Kurgan region, near the border of Kazakhstan, has a ministry for emergencies. It reported that 46 suspects have been identified. Seven criminal cases were also initiated against suspected arsonists.

It said that some of the suspects are minors. It was not known what motivated the arsonists.

In recent years, wildfires in Russia’s forests have become more intense. They have been a problem for many years in the hotter months. According to Greenpeace Russia, the 2021 fire season in Russia was the largest ever. 18.8 million acres of forest were destroyed. Last year, smoke from wildfires blew hundreds and miles to Moscow, choked city residents.

Late April, fires broke out in the Kurgan region and its neighbouring Tyumen. Alexander Kurenkov, the Russian Minister of Emergencies, flew to Kurgan Monday to see how the fires were spreading.


Kurenkov, speaking on state television about efforts to contain the swarms on Tuesday, said: “I believe today we will be able to manage this.”

Video footage showed firefighters directing their hoses onto burning fields and a plane scooping water from a nearby reservoir to release it over the fire.


Officials said that hundreds of homes had been destroyed and residents were being evacuated.

Vadim Shumkov announced on his telegramchannel that he would cancel the planned Victory Day Parade and fireworks display for Tuesday due to fires. However, concerts and other events will continue. Shumkov declared an emergency in the area on Monday (8th May).

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