Russia's Emergency Situations Ministry has said that five people died and hundreds lost their homes as a wave of forest fires spread through central Russia amid an ongoing heat wave.
The ministry's branch in Voronezh, south of Moscow, said the five died overnight and included one firefighter.
The temperature in the Russian capital on July 29 was reported to have risen above 38 degrees Celsius -- the highest since records have been kept.
The heat wave, which has engulfed central parts of European Russia and Siberia since June, has also caused significant losses to the wheat crop, lowering the country's expected exports this year.
compiled from agency reports