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Fires Rage In Russian Far East

2 July 2005 -- ITAR-TASS says more than 8,500 hectares of taiga are ablaze, with the largest fires reported in Khabarovsk.

More than 700 firefighters have been called in to battle the blazes.

More than 500 fires have swept across the Russian far eastern regions of Yakutia and Kamchatka in recent weeks, destroying some 20,000 hectares of forested land.

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