France offers plane, staff to fight Russia fires

8th August 2010, Comments 0 comments

France offered to send 120 firefighting personnel and a plane to drop water on the wildfires that have sparked a crisis in Russia, the French presidency said on Sunday.

The offer to Russian authorities also included 37 other vehicles and pumps to help fight the blazes, it said in a statement.

"France, while keeping the necessary (firefighting) capacities on its national territory, thus expresses its full solidarity with Russia and the Russian people in the terrible ordeal they are facing," it said.

The wildfires have killed 52 people, destroyed villages and covered Moscow with a choking smog which has also delayed flights.

Authorities said the blazes were still spreading in central Russia, with the country's worst heatwave in decades expected to continue.

© 2010 AFP

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