Russia’s Putin urges stronger response to Siberian wildfires

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MOSCOW (AP) — Russian President Vladimir Putin has urged authorities to strengtnen their efforts to fight wildfires in northeastern Siberia, calling the situation “unprecedented.” Speaking Saturday in a video call with officials, Putin noted that 13 forest fires in the Sakha-Yakutia region are raging within five kilometers (3 miles) from populated areas and emphasized the need to closely monitor the situation to protect residents. Yakutia, the largest of Russia’s 85 regions which has a vast territory bigger than Argentina, has faced particularly devastating wildfires this year following months of hot, dry weather and record-breaking temperatures. Flames previously threatened a dozen of villages, and several were evacuated. 

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