Italy sends two aircraft to help fight Russian fires

4th August 2010, Comments 0 comments

Italy will send two aircraft to Russia to help emergency teams fight deadly forest fires that are continuing to spread and have so far killed 48 people, the civil protection agency said Wednesday.

The two Canadair planes are due to leave Rome in the next hours and, after a technical stopover in Hungary, will arrive in Moscow Thursday, it said in a statement.

Five teams would be on the aircraft, which can carry up to 6,000 litres (1,585 US gallons) of water each and be filled in just 12 seconds.

The week-long wildfires in Russia show no sign of abating, and the emergencies ministry said Tuesday hundreds of new fires had started over the past day, including a new blaze raging close to a top secret nuclear facility.

The fires have been sparked by Russia's worst heatwave in decades which saw all-time temperature records in Moscow tumble throughout July.

© 2010 AFP

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