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Eight dead as fires flare up again in southern Russia

A new series of forest and bush fires have started up in southern Russia, killing an estimated eight people and leaving hundreds of people homeless.

Fire fighter with hose

Russian firefighters have been battling blazes all summer long

Following from a heat wave that ravaged about a million hectares of Russian land, new forest fires have sprung up in the country's southern region, causing more devastation.

Russian emergency services told the Interfax news agency that at least eight people had been killed and more than 400 homes destroyed after a fresh wave of fires.

Strong winds overnight stoked fires in villages in the Volgograd and Saratov regions, some 1,000 kilometers (620 miles) southeast of Moscow. Most of the fires were under control by late on Friday.

Pledging aid

"About 1,000 people are without shelter," the emergency ministry said in a statement. "Eighteen people have been injured."

Prime Minister Vladimir Putin has pledged one billion roubles (19.8 million euros, $25.4 million) in emergency aid to the two affected regions.

Russia is yet to assess the full cost of the record drought and wildfires that destroyed over a quarter of the country's crops this summer and left more than 50 people dead.

Author: Catherine Bolsover (AFP/AP)

Editor: Toma Tasovac

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