Some 500 servicemen are working to extinguish wildfires near the city of Sarov, where a nuclear research center is located, a spokesman for Russia‘s Railway Troops said on Friday.
“The main goal the railway servicemen are achieving now is putting up fire-breaks to prevent homes and the nuclear center from catching fire,” Col. Sergei Dorozhkin said.
More than 30 pieces of military equipment are also involved in the firefighting efforts in Sarov, in the Nizhny Novgorod region, one of the worst-affected regions. Dorozhkin added that day and night duty had been organized to monitor the wildfires and new hotspots in the area.
A scorching heat wave has gripped much of European Russia since mid-June, sparking wildfires and causing the worst drought in decades.
The forest and peat bog fires have so far killed 50 people and left some 2,000 homeless across the central part of European Russia.
NASA satellites Terra and Aqua on Thursday registered 535 hotspots from wildfires across Russia, according to the ScanEx website.
The record-breaking heat wave will continue through mid-August, meteorologists say.
MOSCOW, August 6 (RIA Novosti)
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