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    Dramatic escape from Russian wildfire

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    ODN

    by ODN

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    Four volunteers have made a dramatic escape from a huge wildfire near Borkovka in the region of Nizhny Novgorod in western Russia.


    The men, from the town of Vyksa, had driven to the nearby village on 29 July by car to try and help locals protect their homes from the approaching forest fires.


    Equipped with spades and water they abandoned the plan as the fire had already swallowed a whole field and some nearby houses.


    The speed at which the fires were spreading meant the road they subsequently drove down to return to Vyksa was in parts already engulfed in smoke and flames.


    The four drove down the road initially surrounded by thick, black smoke before the blaze engulfed them. At one point the vehicle came to a halt and the four shouted in fear as flames began to surround their car.


    Wildfires are burning across 309,000 acres, mostly in central and western Russia, and have already killed 34 people.


    About 1,500 homes have been wiped out by fires, spurred by the heat wave that has dried forests and fields to a crisp.