3 Sep 2010

New Russia wildfires kill two, destroy homes

2:49 pm on 3 September 2010

A new wave of wildfires swept through villages in southern Russia on Thursday, killing at least two people and destroying hundreds of homes.

Fires driven by high winds destroyed nearly 500 buildings in the Volgograd and Saratov provinces, including 342 homes, an Emergencies Ministry official told the ITAR-Tass news agency.

The blazes in the provinces on the Volga River southeast of Moscow followed wildfires that killed at least 54 in central Russia in July and August, amid Russia's worst heat wave on record.

Most of the damage on Thursday was in the Vologograd province, where a man was killed when a forest fire spread to his house, a regional Emergencies Ministry spokeswoman said.

A woman was killed and 13 people injured in a separate district, according to report from the state-run RIA news agency.