Source Pravda.Ru

About 60 Peat and Forest Fires Occur Near Moscow, Covering City with Thick Smoke

The Capital of Russia has seen record high temperatures for over a month. The Russian Emergencies Ministry says that some 60 new forest and peat bog fires have occurred over the past 24 hours, covering an area of 50 hectares in the Moscow Region.

Peat bogs are burning around Moscow in the Shatura, Yegoryevsk, Noginsk and Pavlovsky Posad districts of the Moscow Region, according to RIA Novosti.

Scientists say the number of toxic particles in the air is eight times the normal level. People have been warned to stay indoors with windows closed.

Many have been seeking relief from the heat in water. Hundreds of people have died in their attempts to cool off, with 65 in the past weekend alone. Many deaths have been put down to drunkenness and badly-managed beaches.

Across Russia crops are being obliterated as the heat refuses to ease - 20% of all Russia's arable land has been destroyed, Sky News reports.