Russia: Forest Fires in Russia’s Far East and Siberia
ITAR-TASSNews Agency, 23 May 2003
There are now seventy-three forest fires blazing in theRussian Far East, including thirty-one in Amur Region, and twenty-three – inKhabarovsk Territory. According to the latest reports from the local natureprotection services, more than 1,100 men were mobilised to fight the fires inKhabarovsk Region, but not all of them have so far been put out. More than sixthousand hectares of forests have burned out in the course of the pasttwenty-four hours. An emergency situation was clamped down on Skovorodinsky,Selemdzhinsky and Tyndinsky districts of Amur Region. The municipal leaders,managers of enterprises and heads of other organizations were ordered toimplement the emergency plans to protect the population and inhabited localitiesfrom forest fires.
More than 110,000 hectares of Taiga are now burning inChita Region. Almost one hundred fires were spotted on an area of 72,000hectares there. More than 55 localised seats of fire are burning down on 41hectares in other parts of the region. Itar-Tass was told at the Chita RegionalDepartment of Natural Resources that the latest drizzles of rain could not helpextinguish the fires. As many as 2,200 men are now fighting them with the helpof 390 machines, eleven planes and helicopters.
Sixty fires on an area of four thousand hectares wererecorded in nearby Buryatia. Eight hundred and fifty men are trying to put themout with the help of ninety-five different machines.
In the meantime, the Amur regional governor has allocated266,000 roubles to help the people, who had lost their houses in the forestfires, Itar-Tass reports from Blagoveshchensk with reference to the regionaladministration.
Thirty-six houses were completely burned down in seveninhabited localities of Oktyabrsky, Mazanovsky and Seryshevsky districts inApril-May. Thirty-eight families were left without a roof overhead. The damages,which the fires had inflicted on the local population, are estimated at2,752,000 roubles. Compensations are being paid to them from the special-purposefinancial reserve of the regional administration, the purpose of which is toprevent and do away with the consequences of different emergency situations