Some 4.5 million hectares have already been devastated by forest fires in Siberia, according to Greenpeace data. The authorities minimize the fact reporting that there are 2.5 million.
Burning 4.5 million hectares
Official data provided by the Federal Forest Protection Service from the Air indicate that the area affected by forest fires is about 2.5 million hectares (about 25,000 square kilometers). The Russian authorities report that in the last week they have managed to "put out the fire in a territory of more than one million hectares."
But the Greenpeace organization denounces that the affected hectares are many more and that only 140,000 hectares are being fought.
So far this year, fires have already affected 13.4 million hectares in Russia, highlights the NGO, which asks the Russian authorities to allocate more resources to the task of extinguishing fires.
Declaration of the state of emergency
Due to the seriousness of the situation, four entities of the Russian Federation - the Krasnoyarsk and Irkutsk regions and the republics of Yakutia and Buryatia - have declared a state of emergency.
The Russian General Prosecutor's Office denounced that the authorities of the regions affected by the fires have manipulated the statistics on the fight against the disaster, which prevented an adequate reaction from the emergency services.
The Russian army has also joined in the firefighting tasks.
A never ending cycle
The forests are burning at an unprecedented rate that has not been seen in the last 10,000 years due in large part to rising temperatures.
Forests contain large stocks of carbon stored in trees and soil that, when burned, release that carbon into the atmosphere. This creates a dangerous cycle of more severe wildfires and increasingly high temperatures.