Fire engulfs nearly 100,000 m3 of timber in Russian port

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Some 100,000 cubic metres of timber was ablaze Monday in a port in northern Russia as fire fighters failed to contain the blaze for the second day.

The fire broke out Sunday and quickly engulfed stockpiles in the Arkhangelsk river port containing 96,000 cubic metres (3.4 million cubic feet) of wood belonging to a major timber processing mill, said the local branch of the emergency situations ministry.

"Extreme heat from the giant fire, the impossibility to extinguish the stockpiles of wood, and strong wind carrying sparks dozens of meters away contribute to the difficulties," the ministry said.

The fire was raging over an area of about 8,000 square metres, the ministry said, though hoping to put it out by the end of the day, and excluding the possibility of flames spreading to the nearby village of Zharovikha.

The owner of the timber Solombala paper and pulp mill, said about 21,000 cubic metres of wood had already been destroyed. The cause of the fire is being investigated, the company said.

© 2011 AFP

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