Russia:Irkutsk Region Taiga Fires Engulf 9,000 Hectares
(Source: ITAR-TASS News Agency, 3 June 2001)
By Oksana Zapolskaya
Fires have spread over the territory of 9 238 hectares of taiga in the Irkutsk region. Over the past 24 hours, the area of burning taiga increased by 3 000 hectares. Sources at the forest protection aviation base of the Irkutsk region told Itar-Tass on Sunday that despite the fact that forest protection services and airborne firemen have localised 42 fires, 30 new have emerged. Large fires of 1 000 hectares and more are raging in the Tulunsk, Ust-Ilimsk and Bratsk regions. Local emergencies commission has suspended forestry activities. It is forbidden to the population to visit forests in the Bratsk region. The main cause of the Irkutsk region taiga fires is still careless handling of bonfires by locals.