Smog from wildfires covers Moscow

Pollution has risen to very dangerous levels and flights are delayed because of the smoke that has covered the Russian capital. The forest and bush fires that rage east of Moscow wreak havoc around the capital.

About 140 flights were delayed as visibility at the Moscow airports has been reduced to a little over 1100 feet this morning. The amount of carbon monoxide in the Russian capital’s atmosphere is almost five times as much as the admissible maximum, and the Russian Health Ministry has advised Moscow residents to stay indoors and wear a mask if they have to go outdoors.

The fires around Moscow have destroyed an area of about 1.8 million acres this year – right now there are over 500 fires burning on an area of over 400,000 acres around Russia’s capital city. Over 50 people have lost their lives in the fires.

NASA specialists have measured the smoke cloud spanning over Russia – they say it is as big as the distance between Chicago and San Francisco.

The fires were likely caused by unusually high temperatures of this summer and the danger has not passed yet: the temperatures are still well over 100 degrees Fahrenheit and extreme fire hazard is forecast for most of the areas.

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