russia fire
© Ruptly
A raging blaze, near a stadium used for the 2018 football World Cup, in Rostov-on-Don has scorched an area covering 25 hectares and claimed the life of one emergency worker.

The fire was fueled by a deadly mixture of dry reeds and a swirling wind, which allowed it to rapidly spread.

Emergency services are scrambling to battle the blaze with dozens of firefighters training their hoses on the inferno and helicopters dumping tons of water on it from above.

Powerful gusts are complicating the firefighting operation and one rescuer lost their life in the effort, local media report. The blaze came within 500 meters of the Rostov Arena but authorities say the stadium is no longer under threat, the Don-TR broadcasting company said.

Rostov Arena was built on the left bank of the Don River especially for the 2018 FIFA World Cup. The 43,000-seat stadium hosted five matches of the tournament, including an epic playoff encounter in which Belgium came from behind to beat Japan 3-2. It's now the home arena of FC Rostov, who were sitting fourth in the Russian Premier League before it went on break due to the coronavirus.