Medvedev declares fire emergency in 7 Russian regions

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Russian President Dmitry Medvedev on Monday declared a state of emergency over the wildfires in seven Russian regions, in a decree that also restricted public access to the affected areas.

The emergency was declared in the regions of Mairi El, Mordovia, Vladimir, Voronezh, Moscow, Nizhny Novgorod and Ryazan, Russian news agencies quoted the decree as saying.

The decree allows local authorities to restrict public access to certain areas where their presence could risk creating the conditions for more fires to start.

It also means that the authorities can call on the armed forces to put out and prevent fires, the decree said.

© 2010 AFP

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