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Death Toll In Russian Wildfires Rises To At Least 52

A man stands near the charred remains of his burned-out home in Voronezh on August 3.
The death toll from hundreds of wildfires across Russia has risen to at least 52 after rescuers pulled a charred body from the ruins of a village and another victim died in hospital from burns.

Authorities said two firefighters also were killed today while battling an above-ground blaze near a coal mine in the Kemerovo region of Siberia.

The Emergencies Ministry said almost 600 separate fires are still raging as the country endures its hottest summer on record.

Temperatures up to 38 degrees Celsius have exacerbated forest and peat bog fires across Russia's central and western regions.

On August 7, President Dmitry Medvedev sacked several top military officials for failing to stop wildfires from destroying a naval base outside Moscow.

compiled from agency reports