Hundreds of firefighters are battling to put out massive wildfires in Siberia. The fires started earlier this month and have now spread to cover 15,000 hectares.
The fires have killed 13 people in the Republic of Buryatia alone. The Transbaikal region is also hard-hit.
Local authorities blame the human factor, as well as agricultural working violations. They say the hot spots are located far away from residential areas. People are being advised to stay away from forests.
Meanwhile, a fire starter in the Republic of Buryatia has been fined over half a billion rubles.
The 21-year-old man dropped a lit cigarette in a field in 2009, sparking a fire that ended up destroying 2,000 hectares of forest.
The massive fine is a first for the region, where fines for fire-starting are typically very small.
It took investigators more than two years to establish that the man was responsible. He finally confessed, and also admitted he had watched the flames spread without doing anything about it.
How the court will collect the mega-fine is another question, as the man is currently unemployed.
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