Fivefold growth of forest fires in Siberia reported

Russia's forest fire aerial protection service says fires in Siberia have grown nearly fivefold over the past week

MOSCOW -- Russia’s forest fire aerial protection service says forest fires in Siberia have grown nearly fivefold over the past week.

The fires come amid a notable heat wave in parts of the sprawling region. A high temperature of 38 degrees Celsius (100.4 F) was reported a week ago in the town of Verkhoyansk,. If the reading is confirmed, it would be the hottest day ever recorded in the Arctic.

The worst-hit area is the Sakha Republic, where Verkhoyansk is located, with 929,000 hectares (2.295 million acres) burning.