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Fires: UK sends help to Greece, Dixie fire large as half Rhode Island, rain saves Turkey, Siberia and Balkan burn

Christian Fernsby |
The Dixie Fire in Northern California became the largest single wildfire in the state's history.

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As of Saturday morning, it covers an area of 446,723 acres (180,782 hectares), or more than half the size of Rhode Island.

Currently, 21% of the fire is contained, according to the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection (CalFire). "Dry fuels are creating serious resistance to control," CalFire said.

Dixie decimated the small Plumas County town of Greenville on Wednesday, reducing parts of the downtown to piles of rubble and leveling more than 100 homes in the area, USA Today reported.

Hundreds of people were evacuated by ferry from a Greek island consumed by infernal forest fires last night as the UK Government prepared to put emergency fire crews on a plane to Athens.

Home Secretary Priti Patel announced the UK will be sending volunteer firefighters from Merseyside, Lancashire, South Wales, London and the West Midlands on a plane to Athens this weekend.

The weather gave Turkey some relief Saturday.

And heavy rain was expected till afternoon in areas including Manavgat, one of the most affected by the fires.

There have been over 200 fires in 47 of Turkey's 81 provinces, Agriculture Minister Bekir Pakdemirli tweeted Saturday. Thirteen of those fires in five provinces were still burning.

Ninety-three forest fires burned across 1.1 million hectares of Sakha-Yakutia in northeastern Siberia, officials said, making it the worst affected region of Russia.

Smoke from the fires covered the Krasnoyarsk and Irkutsk regions. The Ministry of Emergency Situations said there is smoke and a burning smell in almost 400 settlements in the Krasnoyarsk territory and in 17 districts. About 10 flights were delayed at the Krasnoyarsk airport and one flight was canceled.

North Macedonia and neighboring Balkan countries have been plagued by wildfires that have been raging this week, particularly in the east of the country, destroying more than 3,000 hectares.

Aid convoys dispatched from Austria reached North Macedonia on August 6, a day after the government declared a state of emergency. Serbia, Bulgaria, and Slovenia also sent assistance.

Large fires also burned in neighboring Kosovo and across the border in Albania, where fire crews managed to bring most of the blazes under control.


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