Over 270 new wildfires have flared up in the past twenty-four hours in Russia, which suffers its worst drought in decades, the emergencies ministry said on Sunday, RIA Novosti reported.
"In the last twenty-four hours, 269 new wildfires have flared up in Russia. As many as 276 wildfires have been extinguished. Currently, 554 wildfires are raging on an area of over 190,000 hectares," the ministry said.
Wildfires continue to rage across much of the central part of European Russia as the country experiences an unprecedented heat wave, with temperatures of up to and above 40 degrees Celsius (104 degrees Fahrenheit). The death toll in the blazes rose to 52 on Friday.
The Russian health ministry said a total of 472 people across Russia sought medical aid in connection with the disaster, and 43 of them remain in hospitals.
On Saturday, Moscow saw its worst air pollution in 2010, with carbon monoxide levels being 6.5 times more than the maximum allowable concentration. The concentration of other poisonous substances in the city air was nine times above the norm.