UPDATE - Russia forest fires threaten radioactive dump - TV
MOSCOW - Firefighters battled yesterday to stop fires sweeping through forests in the Russian far east from reaching a radioactive waste dump, NTV television reported.
NTV, in an evening news bulletin, showed soldiers fighting to control flames near a radioactive waste storage site identified as \"the Rodon enterprise\".
A soldier interviewed by NTV at the scene said: \"Our main task is to stop the fire going to the other side\", nodding towards the storage building. The origin and the quantity of the material stored there was not mentioned.
The Emergencies Ministry in Moscow could not be immediately reached for comment.
Earlier, health officials advised residents in Khabarovsk to wear face masks and hang wet sheets in their homes to counter poisonous fumes sparked by the fires.
On the streets of Khabarovsk, a city on the Amur River close to the Chinese border, people walked through dense smog with wet handkerchiefs covering their mouths and noses.
Khabarovsk\'s airport has been closed for two days, with flights being redirected to Vladivostok and other nearby cities.
An Emergencies Ministry regional official said the fires had raged through some 48,000 hectares (118,600 acres) of land.
Earlier in the week, regional authorities said the fires were thought to have been caused by arson.
REUTERS NEWS SERVICE
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