Can you see Mos..cough anywhere?

Posted by on 5, Aug 2010 in 2010 - The Caucasus, Eastern Europe, Europe, Russia

Can you see Mos..cough anywhere?

On our drive up from Volgograd we saw quite a few fields with stubble burning in progress. Some fields had got out of control and burned nearby trees and hedges and one field – not a stubble burn just waste ground – was ablaze right next to a petrol station. The flames were literally within inches of the forecourt and the Russians were happily filling up taking no notice! We didn’t see any foray fires and all the crops in the 1000km drive looked very healthy.

The foray fires outside Moscow though have been getting worse and this morning we got an email from the British Embassy in Moscow saying a state of emergency had been declard in the Moscow region and warning us about the smoke. Not that you need an email to notice the smoke, the van smells like we’ve had one hell of a bonfire in here and it is hazy even inside.

Outside the church bell tower about 100m away is barely visible. There is little wind and Linda has been taking her inhalers as a precaution. Your eyes sting slightly and your throat gets sore. The trouble with the smoke is it comes and goes, yesterday it was a blue sky baking got day but the evening before it suddenly became Smokey in a couple of hours. Today it is really bad and if it stays like this tomorrow we will probably head off. Today we’re staying indoors as much as we can and visiting museums and stations – though even they have smoke in them.

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