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Impact of forest fires in Yakutia causes alarm in Russia

Moscow, Aug 19 (Prensa Latina) The Russian Minister for Far East Development Alexei Chekunkov said that no country in the world has faced challenges stemming from forest fires like those that occurred this year in the Republic of Sakha-Yakutia.

Chekunkov stressed that around seven million hectares are on fire, ‘this is the area of a Central European country, equivalent to millions of soccer fields,’ he explained in statements to the Russia 24 television channel.

Chekunkov assured that the most important thing at this time is to protect people’s lives and health. ‘Unfortunately, it is not always possible to protect property,’ he said.

On Saturday, Russian President Vladimir Putin acknowledged at a meeting on dealing with floods and forest fires that the scale of natural disasters hitting some regions of the country is unprecedented.

Putin drew attention to the low rainfall occurring in different territories of Russia, the TASS news agency reported.

‘In Siberia, in the Far East, the natural, climatic and atmospheric conditions have developed in such a way that there have been forest fires in drought conditions and the wind gusts have spread vertiginously,’ he said.

The head of state urged that forest resources be protected as much as possible during the fight with the great fires the country is facing, especially in the Yakutia region.