Wildfires blaze in Siberia, Russian Far East

Russian emergency workers are fighting wildfires on more than 212 square miles of territory, mostly in Siberia and the Far East

MOSCOW -- Russian emergency workers fought wildfires burning Sunday on more than 550 square kilometers (212 square miles) of territory mostly in Siberia and the Far East.

The state agency responsible for fighting forest fires, Avialesookhrana, said the largest blaze was in the far northeast’s Sakha Republic, where 34,000 hectares (74,000 acres) were on fire. The Irkutsk region in Siberia had fires encompassing about 20,000 hectares (49,500 acres), the agency said.

There were no immediate reports of deaths or residential damage in the sparsely populated regions.

In recent years, Russia has experienced especially widespread forest fires, which experts blame on unusually dry summers and high temperatures.