(SIBERIA) JUST IN: Russian planes seeded clouds to bring down rain on huge fires raging in the region of Yakutia, that in one place spread dangerously close to a hydroelectric power plant #AceNewsDesk report

#AceNewsDesk says that wildfires are raging across a cold area of Yakutia, Siberia, threatening a power plant and disrupting transport as Russian planes are seeding clouds to make it rain as blaze gets closer …..Reuters Wires on Telegram reports …

Flames leap up at some trees that are about to be engulfed
The wildfires are burning over 885,000 hectares and are more intense than in previous years.(Reuters: Roman Kutukov)

Fires have flared across Russia amid a heatwave, tearing through over 1.5 million hectares of land in Yakutia, which is the worst-hit region.

Officials told people to stay indoors and to keep windows shut due to the smoke at the weekend.

The regional capital Yakutsk, one of the coldest cities on the planet, was forced to suspend flights at its airport due to bad visibility, and transport on the river Lena that carves through Siberia was also interrupted.

Fires flare across Russian forest land annually, but they have become more intense in recent years amid unusually high temperatures across the northern Siberian tundra.

Yakutia is itself in the grips of a heatwave.

A firefighter tries to extinguish a wall of flames
Thousands of firefighters are battling the blazes.(Reuters: Roman Kutukov)

In less than two months, fires in the region have spewed out around 150 megatonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent — close to the 2017 annual fossil fuel emissions of Venezuela, according to the Copernicus Atmosphere Monitoring Service (CAMS), part of an European Union observation programme.

On Monday, a Beriev Be-200 amphibious plane flown in from another Siberian region joined a massive effort to contain the blaze involving more than 2,000 firefighters on the ground.

Orange haze can be seen through  a dark forest
More than 100 fires are burning out of control.(Reuters: Roman Kutukov)

Firefighters took special care to contain one fire covering 41,300 hectares, it said.

“There’s a natural water barrier from the river Vilyuy, but the fire is potentially dangerous for the … Svetlinskaya hydroelectric power station,” it said.

Smaller-scale fires have continued to burn in less remote parts of the country.

#AceNewsDesk report ……Published: July.20: 2021:

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#russian, #siberia, #wildfires