'Everything Is Burning:' Fires Gobble Russian Villages

Reports suggest fires broke out in different locales, leveling scores of homes, leaving at least 1 dead
By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 26, 2023 6:44 AM CDT
'Massive' Fires Gobble 130 Russian Homes
Large fires has decimated two villages in Russia's Ural Mountains.   (YouTube)

At least one person is dead and nearly 200 buildings have been destroyed in fires raging through Russia. Six "massive" fires were burning in the Sverdlovsk region on Tuesday and Wednesday, the Anadolu Agency reports. The Russian Emergency Ministry said 178 buildings were destroyed, including 134 homes and 32 non-residential buildings. Flames may have first erupted at a sawmill before spreading with aid from high winds and dry vegetation, per Radio Free Europe. Flames "decimated" the village of Sosva, per Reuters, where one person was reported dead. "Here everything is just burned down—there are no houses anymore—everything is burning," one witness said, according to the Daily Beast.

There were reports of large fires erupting in other regions around the same time, per RFE. The Russian media group RBC described fires in the city of Lesozavodsk in the Primorsky region, which borders China, and the village of Balyaga in the Trans-Baikal Territory in eastern Russia, in addition to several fires burning far apart in Sverdlovsk. There has been an uptick in fires in Russia in recent months. An analysis shows major fires increased 26% in November and December, per Forbes. Then there were 212 in the first three months of 2023, compared to 414 for the entirety of 2022, according to the report, which suggested Russians opposed to Vladimir Putin's regime or Ukrainian forces could be responsible. (More Russia stories.)

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