Rains help putting down most forest fires in Russia's Tuva

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Gorno-Altaisk, June 13 (Itar-Tass) -- The ongoing rains helped putting down a greater part of 11 forest fires that have raged in Russia's Republic of Tuva from the beginning of the Russian holidays. Three fires are still burning in the republic, one of them has already been localized.

If the fire area totalled more than 5,000 hectares two days ago, it has shrunk to 2.6 thousand hectares by Friday morning.

The largest fire is remaining in the Kyzyl district, a duty officer of
the Tuva Ministry of Natural Resources told Itar-Tass on Friday. This fire
has spread on more than 2,000 hectares. Some 64 people, including 30
paratroopers from the Tuva forest protection airbase were involved in the
firefighting efforts against this forest fire. The cloudy weather with
sporadic rains persists in the republic that may help extinguish the
remaining fires, the duty officer said.

The forest fires in Tuva have started in early April. Since then 130
fires have broken out in the republic spreading on about 36,000 hectares.

In 2007 318 forest fires were reported on an area of more than 60,000
hectares in the republic. About 13.6 million roubles were allocated from
the federal budget for the firefighting efforts in Tuva this year.