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Firefighters battle blaze near Russian nuclear centre

Reuters

Russian firefighters fought a difficult battle against wildfires in the forest of Tokushevo on Thursday, 50 kilometres from the country’s top nuclear research centre. Fires near the town of Sorov have raised concerns about the nuclear centre and authorities have said that extra teams will be dispatched in an effort to keep the blaze from spreading there. 

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Firefighters have complained that it’s impossible to extinguish the flames from the ground. But with no promise of aerial assistance, they are digging up the earth around the forest to prevent the flames from spreading.

Russia has, however, lifted the state of emergency in Vladimir, Voronezh and Marii El regions.

Fires were also blazing in neighbouring Ukraine near Chernobyl, the site of the world’s worst nuclear disaster.

Authorities said emergency services are working to put out a two-hectare peat bog fire 60 kilometres from the city itself.

But a spokeswoman for the Ukrainian government said the fire presented no threat and should be put out later on Thursday or Friday.

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