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    Onslaught on Russias Green Lung | European Journal

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    DW (English)

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    Raging fires have devastated huge forest areas in Russia, a country that provides a fifth of the world forest resources. Estimates suggest that at least 200,000 hectares have so far gone up in smoke.One key reason, say critics, is unrestricted logging and and the removal of Soviet-era rangers who chronicled any incidents, and extinguished small blazes at once. Nowadays, firefighting units often arrive too late. The fires are often caused by dangerous slash-and-burn efforts to turn forestland into building sites, often close to urban areas. The IMF says that well over 10 million cubic meters of timber are lost every year due to illegal logging.