The government of a Siberian region reports that more than 70 people have been injured by agricultural fires that got out of control and swept through more than 20 towns and villages.

The fires were started by farmers burning the grass in their fields and they spread quickly because of strong winds.

The government of Khakassia, a region in southeastern Siberia, has called on all residents to help put out the fires, which on Sunday destroyed 118 homes in 21 towns and villages.

The Defense Ministry and Emergencies Ministry said they were sending aircraft to help fight the fires.

The state RIA Novosti news agency, quoting an Emergencies Ministry official, reported that firefighters were hampered by a shortage of water since the reservoirs were still covered with ice.