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Forest Fires Continue in E. Russia

May 23, 1998

MOSCOW (AP) _ Firefighters in the Russian Far East have run out of money to hire aircraft to battle forest fires that have spread across thousands of acres, a news agency reported today.

Nearly 84,000 acres of forests are engulfed in flames, and the local forestry air guard service has only enough cash to hire three aircraft to fight the fires, the ITAR-Tass news agency said.

Most of the fires were reported in remote areas of the Khabarovsk region, where 49,000 acres of timberland were reported on fire and only reachable by aircraft, the news agency said.

It said the forestry service did not have enough money to rent more helicopters and planes to fight the blaze.

No cause has been given for the fires.

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