<p><strong><em>This story is part of a <a href="http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/clean_water_crisis.html">special series</a> that explores the global water crisis. For more, visit National Geographic's <a href="http://environment.nationalgeographic.com/environment/freshwater">Freshwater website</a>.</em></strong></p><p>About 111 miles (180 kilometers) southeast of Moscow, locals try to extinguish a forest fire near the village of Dolginino, Russia, last Wednesday.</p><p>As of Tuesday, professional <a id="bd90" title="firefighters were combating 557 fires" href="http://ca.reuters.com/article/topNews/idCATRE6751T820100810?pageNumber=1&amp;virtualBrandChannel=0">firefighters were combating 557 wildfires</a> over a 670-square-mile (1,740-square-kilometer), Russia's Emergencies Ministry said, according to Reuters.</p><p>The fires are stoked by an ongoing drought and the <a id="o87y" title="worst heatwave in Russian memory" href="http://blogs.nationalgeographic.com/blogs/news/chiefeditor/2010/08/russia-chokes-as-fires-rage-worst-summer-ever.html">worst heat wave in Russian memory</a>. Around Moscow, choked with fire-related smog, <a id="amlq" title="temperatures have hovered around 100 degrees F" href="http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2010-08-10/russia-may-lose-15-000-lives-15-billion-of-economic-output-in-heat-wave.html">temperatures have hovered around 100 degrees F</a> (38 degrees C) for weeks and show no sign of letting up soon, according to the Bloomberg news agency.</p>

Russian Wildfire

This story is part of a special series that explores the global water crisis. For more, visit National Geographic's Freshwater website.

About 111 miles (180 kilometers) southeast of Moscow, locals try to extinguish a forest fire near the village of Dolginino, Russia, last Wednesday.

As of Tuesday, professional firefighters were combating 557 wildfires over a 670-square-mile (1,740-square-kilometer), Russia's Emergencies Ministry said, according to Reuters.

The fires are stoked by an ongoing drought and the worst heat wave in Russian memory. Around Moscow, choked with fire-related smog, temperatures have hovered around 100 degrees F (38 degrees C) for weeks and show no sign of letting up soon, according to the Bloomberg news agency.

Photograph from AP

Wildfire Pictures: Russia Burns, Moscow Chokes

The worst known Russian heat wave is fueling hundreds of fires across the country and driving up Moscow's death rate. See just how bad it is.

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