In the Moscow Region fires are currently burning on 276 hectares, with seats recorded in 15 districts (as at 6 a.m. this morning). RIA Novosti learned this from Alexander Mikhailov, head of the Centre for Controlling Critical Situations of the Moscow Region. Altogether 119 seats of fire have been registered in the region engulfing almost 276.5 hectares.
Mikhailov noted that 1,066 people and 322 units of equipment are taking part in extinguishing the fires. During the past 24 hours aircraft made 20 flights, dropping 1,522 tons of water on the seats of fire.
According to the head of the Centre, the fires are burning mainly in thinly populated areas, which creates certain difficulties, for fires breaking out are not reported promptly enough, whereas in such cases every minute counts.
What makes the fire-fighting work difficult are the hot temperatures in Moscow and the Moscow Region. Regretfully, the weather forecasts do not predict rains in the region before Saturday.
The peatbogs in the east of the region are burning, with eastern winds blowing the smoke of the fires over the capital. The smoke considerably impairs visibility in the city, which in some areas did not exceed 500 metres this morning.
The choice of the city of Helsinki is not incidental as the capital of Finland had hosted US-Soviet negotiations on the limitation of nuclear stockpiles in 1969