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Monday, July 27, 1998 Published at 10:21 GMT 11:21 UK

World: Europe

Forest fires rage over wide area of Russian Far East

Reports from Russia say fires are raging over more than one-hundred-thousand hectares of forest in the Far East region.

The Itar-Tass new agency says that in the hot, dry weather the coniferous forest is burning in more than one-hundred-and-fifty places around Valdivostok, Sakhalin island and the Kamchatka peninsula.

It says attempts to bring the fires under control have been hampered by a shortage of funds and the difficulty of access in the deep forest.

The agency says fires have also broken out in the southwest Volgograd region -- destroying nine-thousand hectares of forest at an estimated cost of six-million dollars.

From the newsroom of the BBC World Service

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