Siberian Forests onFire Alert as Temperatures Set to Soar
(published by: BBCMonitoring International Reports, 13 May 2004)
Novosibirsk — Emergency regulations have been introduced in the forests ofAltay Territory. RIA-Novosti news agency was told by the press service of theterritory’s administration today that the head of the region, Mikhail Yevdokimov,had made this decision because of the onset of dry and hot weather.
Weather forecasters are saying temperatures will rise to 38 degrees in the nextfew days and the fire service ranks this at the highest level (category 4-5) offire danger.
Under the emergency, residents’ access to forests is restricted and the servicesof the main territorial civil defence and emergencies directorates are on alert.Instructions have been issued to the leaders of towns and districts to payparticular attention to fire safety measures in the forests.
The administration’s press service also said there have been over 160 fires thisseason in the region, affecting a total of more than 380 ha of forest.
(Almost 50,000 ha of forests have been damaged by fire this year in Russia,according to ITAR-TASS news agency, Moscow, in Russian 0738 gmt 13 May.)