Siberia wildfire kills two with scores hurt
Two people died and 70 were hurt as a wildfire in Siberia caused by the burning of dry grass threatened villages, Russian officials said Sunday.
"Over 70 people asked for medical help, and two people died" as a fire raged in the Khakassia region of southern Siberia, the regional government said.
The emergency ministry said that they are using a plane, three fire trains and over 5,000 people to control the fire, but that strong winds are making this impossible.
"Over 100 houses in 21 villages are on fire," the ministry said.
Two people were reported dead although authorities said the toll was "preliminary" until the exact cause of their deaths could be determined.
They called on "residents of the region to battle the fire, which began because of residents themselves after uncontrolled grass burning," the ministry said on its website.
Spring and autumn burning of dry grass regularly results in massive wildfires that often cause extensive damage to homes and human life.
Wildfires in Russia in 2010 killed at least 60 people, destroyed over 3,000 homes and left Moscow shrouded in smoke. In 2012, fire destroyed 10 million hectares of Siberian forest, according to environmental groups.
© 2015 AFP