Poland sends firefighters to Russia

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Poland will dispatch a battalion of 155 firefighters to Russia to help douse wildfires that have been sweeping across the west of the country, the interior ministry said Friday.

"The special battalion will consist of 155 people. Its operations on the ground will be coordinated by the Russian Federation's rescue services," the Polish interior ministry said in a statement.

Along with their specialised equipment, the Polish firefighters were expected to leave on Saturday and travel to Russia by road for a mission set to last 15 days.

A scorching heatwave has set the stage for Russia's worst wildfires in more than four decades, which have already killed 52 people and threaten some of the country's nuclear installations.

© 2010 AFP

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