Moscow covered by “non-existent smog”

Residents in the Moscow region and the capital’s southeast say they could see and smell smog over the weekend.

The residents claim the “aroma” is quite strong in the morning, and its look and taste are something that is familiar to everyone who experienced the city being covered in smoke from forest fires last summer.

Moscow’s weather bureau admitted that the wind in the capital has been indeed blowing from the southeast, so it could carry the smell of smoke from peat bog fires that are typical for this part of the Moscow region.

Still, they say, there is no data confirming that the ecological situation in the city deteriorated over the weekend. As for the “smog,” that was only a light fog caused by high humidity.

Moscow’s ecologists believe there is a lower risk of smog covering the city this year, thanks to intense rains that hit the Russian capital the week earlier.

The Emergencies Ministry repeatedly reported that there are several fires in the Moscow region, most of which are successfully being extinguished.

“There were eight forest fires this weekend,” Vladimir Dmitriev, a spokesperson for the Federal Forestry Agency, told RT. “Four of them were extinguished immediately – the others were contained. Seven of the fires were small and posed no danger to the region. But one fire in Orekhovo-Zuevo to the east of Moscow was rather large.”

The record-breaking heat in the summer of 2010 resulted in devastating forest fires that killed 62 people, destroyed 199 towns and reduced 3,200 houses to ashes. As a result of intense peat-bog fires, heavy smog covered Moscow for almost a month; pollution levels increased more than 10-fold. In July and August 2010, the capital’s mortality rate rose by 50 percent.

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