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Russia on fire

Muscovites fear last year's fire and smoke can come back.
Russia fires smog smoke moscowEnlarge
(LEV MASLOV/AFP/Getty Images)

There’s nothing like a glorious Moscow summer after the pains of winter. So why is everyone on edge?

Memories of last year, when Moscow was covered in rancid smoke for weeks because of raging forest and peat bog fires, are still fresh. Those fires happen every year, but were made worse by a record heat wave. So Russians’ usual obsession with the prognoz pagody (weather report) is even greater than usual now.

The Emergencies Ministry has been updating its statistics often and today came out to say that the total area on fire is nearly three times higher than during the same period last year. So far, they have registered fires on 617,000 hectares of land since the start of the “fire risk period.” Last year, that number stood at 214,500 by this time. You can see a map of the fires here.
 

http://www.globalpost.com/dispatches/globalpost-blogs/bric-yard/russia-fire