NASA satellites register 66 wildfire hotspots in Russia
The number of wildfire hotspots in Russia registered by two NASA satellites, almost halved on Friday - from 95 to 66, a spokeswoman of the ScanEx website that receives information from the satellites said.
The Aqua satellite, equipped with an atmospheric infrared sounder, and Terra, equipped with a thermal emission and reflection radiometer register any hotspots across Russia, RIA Novosti reported.
"The general trend in the decrease of wildfires remains unchanged. Unfortunately, clouds prevent the satellites from detecting all existing wildfire hotpots," Nadezhda Pupysheva said.
According to the Russian emergencies ministry data, the area of wildfires dropped by 2,200 hectares, to 9,000 hectares, on Friday. The emergencies ministry said 288 wildfires still raged on the Russian territory, and 154 of them have already been localized.
Russian President Dmitry Medvedev said earlier on Friday that the government has managed to overcome the wildfire crisis and has valuable lessons to learn from the experience.
"Russia has gained control and on the whole I think that the situation has normalized," Medvedev said. "We have serious lessons to learn from what has happened."
The president has lifted the state of emergency in six of the seven Russian regions hit hardest by the worst wildfires in decades.
A state of emergency was announced in the Mordovia, Moscow, Nizhny Novgorod, Ryazan, Vladimir, Voronezh and Mari El regions on August 2. Only the Central Russian Ryazan Region remains under emergency regime.
Russian emergencies minister Sergei Shoigu said wildfires around Ryazan will be extinguished on Saturday.
Hundreds of wildfires sparked by a record-breaking heat wave have been burning across central Russia for the past four weeks, causing some 12 billion rubles ($394 million) in damage, according to the emergencies ministry.
A total of 50 people were killed in the fires. Over 2,500 houses in 150 villages and towns were destroyed, leaving over 3,500 people homeless.