Six killed by wildfires in Russia’s Urals – TASS

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The death toll from wildfires in Russia’s Urals region has risen to six, according to news agency TASS, citing local health officials.

On Monday, medics on the ground told the agency that 14 more people had been hospitalized. They noted that the majority of these people had been burned.

According to early statistics, at least three people died as a result of wildfires in the region, according to Russia’s Investigative Committee on Sunday. Over these fatalities, criminal negligence lawsuits have been filed.

Aleksandr Kurenkov, Russia’s Emergency Minister, arrived in Kurgan Region on Monday to personally oversee attempts to contain the disaster. Kurgan Region is located along Russia’s border with Kazakhstan. “Most of the wildfires have been localized by now,” he said after attending a helicopter airborne reconnaissance of the damaged areas.

Six of the nine wildfires that threatened residential areas in the region, according to the Emergencies Ministry, have been contained, with one completely extinguished.

The wildfires have involved about 1,300 rescuers and over 330 units of specialized hardware. According to the ministry, specialized planes have dropped more than 165 tons of water on the fire fronts thus far.

Also on Monday, Russia’s Defense Ministry announced the deployment of two Il-76 transport aircraft outfitted for firefighting missions to the region.

Due to large-scale wildfires, the Kurgan Region issued a state of emergency in late April. Fires in the region have burned more than 40 buildings, according to a source in the emergency services.

The situation with wildfires remains challenging not only in the Kurgan Region, but also in neighboring Ural regions such as Sverdlovsk and Tyumen.