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Russia Admits Some Wildfires Out Of Control

A severe heat wave in Russia has led to several devastating wildfires
Russia's emergency chief says some of country's devastating wildfires are out of control.

Emergency Situations Minister Sergei Shoigu was quoted by Russian media as breaking that news to President Dmitry Medvedev during a meeting today near the southern city of Sochi.

His words contradicted days of reassurances from his subordinates that the fires, which have killed 40 people so far and destroyed near 2,000 homes, were under control.

Around 10,000 firefighters, thousands more troops, and tens of thousands of volunteers are battling blazes in more than a dozen provinces in western Russia.

Vladimir Stepanov, the head of emergency agency crisis center, acknowledged that there weren't enough firefighters. Stepanov urged local authorities to throw all available manpower into fighting the fires.

Seven provinces -- Marii-El, Mordovia, Vladimir, Voronezh, Moscow, Nizhny Novgorod and Ryazan -- are still under a state of emergency.

compiled from agency reports