15 Aug 2010

Fire still near Russian nuclear site

9:59 pm on 15 August 2010

Russia is reporting success in reducing wildfires burning close to its main nuclear research centre, but shifting winds have brought the acrid smell of smog back to the capital, Moscow.

Amid the worst ever heatwave in its history, Russia has for days battled to cut back hundreds of blazes across the country.

They include flames in a nature reserve near its top nuclear research centre in Sarov, a town in central Russia.

The emergency ministry says fires in two regions - Nizhny Novgorod and Mordovia - have been reduced.

However there are still close to 500 fires in Russia covering an area of 53,500 hectares, a quarter of the area reported at the peak of the crisis.

But the acrid smell returned to Moscow as shifting winds brought back smog from the neighbouring Ryazan and Vladimir regions in central Russia where three major peat bogs are burning.