Another Russian nuclear facility threatened by wildfires
Emergency regulations over the threat of spreading wildfires were enforced late on Monday in the town of Ozersk in the Chelyabinsk region, where one of Russia's largest nuclear-waste plants is located, RIA Novosti reported.
The Mayak plant, which makes tritium and radioisotopes from decommissioned weapons and waste from nuclear reactors, is about 80 kilometers (about 50 miles) from the town of Snezhinsk where a forest fire has recently threatened a major nuclear research center.
"The head of Ozersk administration has enforced emergency regulations in the forests and parks due to a serious wildfire threat," the local administration said in a statement.
An emergency meeting is scheduled for Tuesday to coordinate efforts of all local emergency services to prevent the fire to close on the town and the nuclear facility, the statement said.
A scorching heat wave has gripped much of European Russia since mid-June, sparking wildfires and causing the worst drought in decades.
Thousands of emergency workers and military personnel have been working round the clock for almost three weeks to fight the fires in 22 Russian regions, which have so far killed more than 50 people and left over 2,000 homeless.
The NASA Terra and Aqua satellites registered 377 hotspots from wildfires across Russia on Monday, down 65 from Sunday.
The record-breaking heat wave in central Russia will continue through mid-August, meteorologists say.