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Seventy Wildfires Still Active In Russia’s Siberia

Firefighters fighting wildfires in the taiga, or boreal forest, in Russia's Krasnoyarsk region on August 1.

Wildfires engulfed more than 400,000 hectares in Siberia overnight on August 25-26, according to combined statements by the Russian Aerial Forest Protection Service and Environmental Ministry say and quoted by TASS.

Ninety-seven fires were extinguished over the past 24 hours encompassing an area of 2,898 hectares.

Slightly less than half of the active fires are in the Krasnoyarsk region, while 2,200 hectares burn in the Irkutsk region, and 1,900 hectares in the Magadan region.

A record 5.5 million hectares was ablaze in Russia in mid-August, mostly in Siberia, with smoke clouds covering more than 5 million square kilometers, more than the size of the European Union, the UN’s authoritative World Meteorological Organization said in a tweet on August 11.

A state of emergency had been declared in four Siberian regions as the fires raged into a third month.

The Guardian reported that since June, Russia has suffered most from fires in the Arctic zone that also includes Alaska, Greenland, and Canada.

Combined, 50 megatons of carbon dioxide was released in June and 79 megatons of carbon dioxide in July -- equal to the exhaust fumes from 36 million cars.

More than 13.1 million hectares have burned, including 4.3 million hectares of taiga forest in Siberia.

Based on reporting by TASS