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Russia firefighters battle devastating forest fires which killed 48

MOSCOW – Russian firefighters continued to battle thousands of forest and peat fires as the death toll climbed in the worst natural disaster the country has seen in decades.

Video of devastating fire in Russia which has killed 48 and left hundreds injured.

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Official counts showed the death toll had climbed to 48 while hundreds of people have been injured and thousands left homeless as entire villages were burned to the ground.

Firefighters extinguishing blazes in Russia - AP Photo/Sergey Ponomarev

Some of the blazes were just 10 kilometres away from Moscow, while others were encroaching on Voronesh, a city of 840,000 some 500 kilometres to the south.

Parts of the capital was shrouded in haze, while clouds of black smoke from the fires in the European part of Russia were clearly visible on satellite photos.

Meteorologists were warning that no relief was in sight, with temperatures in Moscow expected to go beyond 40 degrees Celsius by the end of the week.

Hundreds of thousands were in action battling the 7,000 fires of varying size burning across 500,000 hectares of the vast nation, said the head of national emergency centre, Vladimir Stepanov.

The thick smog which set on Moscow has also caused havoc in the city with accidents increasing and commuters complaining that the blanket of fog like smoke has caused stinging in the eyes.

The Health Minister has also said that people should try and stay away from the smog and use face masks to limit the fumes Moscow residents breath in as dangerous substances such as Carbon Monoxide is in smog.

The fire has totally obliterated Russian forests, villages and a military base while firefighters are trying their utmost to stop the flames from coming near a top secret nuclear research facility.

Currently, over 500 separate wild fires have been reported in Moscow while several methods are being implemented to try and control the blazes in forestry areas and swathes of countryside.

Officials have said 293 blazes have been extinguished.

The fires are backed by dry winds and record temperatures which is set to get worse with weather reports saying the temperatures may go as high as 40 degrees Celsius.

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