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Planes dump water on Siberian wildfires as residents plead for help

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By Tom Balmforth MOSCOW (Reuters) – Russia’s army sent firefighting planes on Tuesday to battle huge wildfires that have blanketed Siberian towns in thick smoke as residents complain of being suffocated in a region known for its frozen tundra that is now sweltering under a heatwave. With flames tearing across some 800,000 hectares of Russian forest, the hardest-hit region of Yakutia in the north has been in a state of emergency for weeks as climate scientists sound the alarm about the potential long-term impact. Fires in Russia’s central Chelyabinsk region, meanwhile, last week killed one man …

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