Russia President Dmitry Medvedev declares state of emergency after forest fires

MOSCOW – Russia President Dmitry Medvedev declared a state of emergency in seven regions hit by devastating forest fires.

Video of Russia forest fire.

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The decree gives local authorities greater powers to battle the blazes, which have claimed 36 lives and left thousands homeless.

Moscow sky line filled with smog after forest areas caught alight in near by areas.

The president also ordered forest areas to be sealed off to unauthorized persons so that the emergency services could have priority access.

Medvedev said he was beefing up the 2,000 soldiers which were helping around 240,000 civil defence workers battling the blazes.

The forest fires fueled by the heatwave and winds are the worst in decades.

Meanwhile many cities nearby including Moscow are covered in smog as the fires continue to effect Russia.

The massive fires have also effected the prices of wheat around the world where Russia exports to.

Doctors have also warned the elderly, people with heart problems and parents to put on wear gauze masks while outdoors in effected areas.

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