Russian Wild Fires Beginning to Cease After Long Stretch of Death and Damage

The hottest summer on record in Russia has led to devastating wild fires across the country.  As the heat wave begins to break, and the fires continue to be extinguished, life in the country is slowly returning to normal.

The city of Moscow was ravaged by smog created from fires found in the drained peatlands, which surround the city.  The wetlands were drained so that citizens could dig up the peat and burn it for fuel, however Wetlands International, a Dutch-based environmental group, said that fires in such areas are often the most difficult to put out, and create the most pollution.  As the fires raged, it was common for residents of the country’s capital to be seen wearing gas masks as they made their way around the city.  The fires in the peatlands have now been extinguished and work is being started to re-flood the wetland area to prevent future fires.

Wildfires also ignited in the area of the Chernobyl nuclear disaster.  Many were concerned that the fires in the area would send any radioactive material left from the explosion into the air with the fire, and spread the material to other areas.  The fires in the area have all been extinguished at this point and it appears that radiation levels in the area have remained normal.

As the heat bore down and the fires raged Russia was forced to sit back and watch as the country’s daily death total climbed to over 700 people per day.  Morgues were overfilled and medical staff said it was difficult to keep up with the deaths.

As the week progresses the heat wave is expected to break and the remaining fires are expected to be put out.

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