GFMC: Forest Fires in the Russian Federation

Forest Fires  in the Russian Federation  

16 August 2010


Latest MODIS scenes: 16 August

 MODIS Terra, 16 August 2010. 500m resolution.   Moscow region, 16 August 2010. Source: MODIS

GFMC analysis (comment inserted ex-post on this web page on 18 August 2010): By 16 August 2010 it has been noted that a wrong algorithm for the calculation of area burned had been applied since the beginning of 2009.The corrected data for the whole fire season are published starting 18 August 2010. A 2010 summary will be published at the end of the fire season.

Fire danger map for 16 August:


Source: Sukachev Institute for Forest, Krasnoyarsk

 

Avialesookhrana from the National Forest Fire Centre of Russia provides up-to-date NOAA images for the whole of the Russian Federation and neighbour territories. The Space Monitoring Information Support Laboratory provides extensive links to sites with satellite imagery for the Russian Federation, meteorological information as well as fire related images are accessible.

The NOAA AVHRR satellite image composite shows fire activities in the Russian Federation.

click to enlarge (360 KB)

Latest (16 August 2010 09:00 GMT) NOAA 12&14 AVHRR composite
The red squares indicate regions of active fires (MODIS Detection). For details the GFMC readers are encouraged to use the hyperlinks provided by Avialesookhrana, the Aerial Forest Fire Protection Service of the Federal Forest service of Russia. 
(Source: Avialesookhrana cloudiness maps)

 

Eurasian Experimental Fire Weather Information System
The system has been developed by forest fire researchers from Canada, Russia and Germany is displayed on this website starting 18 July 2001. Complete information and a set of daily fire weather and fire behaviour potential maps covering Eurasia (the Baltic Region, Eastern Europe, countries of the Commonwealth of Independent States, Mongolia) can be accessed at:
https://gfmc.online/fwf/eurasia1.htm

Example of the Eurasian Experimental Fire Weather Information System:
Latest map of the Experimental Fire Weather Index (FWI) for Russia and neighbouring countries

 

Daily Fire Occurrence and Fire Danger Maps of the Fire Laboratory of the Sukachev Institute of Forest, Krasnoyarsk
Selected fire occurrence maps, satellite images and a forest fire danger map are prepared daily by the Russian GFMC correspondent Dr. Anatoly Sukhinin, Fire Laboratory of the Sukachev Institute of Forest, Krasnoyarsk, in collaboration with the Emergency Situation Monitoring and Forecasting Agency, Krasnoyarsk branch. The maps are produced on the base of satellite data (classification by the NOAA AVHRR). They show the fire locations (by latitude and longitude) and the area affected by fire (red signature, size in ha). The red arrow at each fire location points to the nearest populated place. The terms Oblast or Kray used in the maps are designations of administrative regions. A map showing the boundaries of administrative regions and a legend is included below.

 

ru_fire_legend.gif (937 Byte)

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Map legend

Administrative boundaries

 

Latest maps maps showing fire activities of  16 August 2010 (selection):

Overview map showing large fire locations detected over the last 10 days:

click here to enlarge (561 KB)

Overview

News from the media:
 

When the smoke clears in Russia, will climate policy change?
As temperatures in Russia climb to historic highs, parching crops and igniting large tracts of forest and peatland, analysts are watching to see if these conditions heat up the country’s climate change policies.

“I don’t know what it would take to produce an active stance on climate change in Russia, but I hope this is enough,” said Samuel Charap, a senior fellow for the Center for American Progress who studies Russian climate and energy policy.

Recent comments made by Russian President Dmitry Medvedev link climate change and the wildfires, stoking speculation about what Russia may bring to the table in the next round of international climate talks. But once the wildfires’ smoke clears, they may not amount to much, according to Alexey Kokorin, the Moscow-based climate negotiator for the World Wildlife Fund.

Medvedev said in a public speech last week, “Unfortunately, what is happening now in our central regions is evidence of this global climate change, because we have never in our history faced such weather conditions,” according to a published transcript of the speech. “This means that we need to change the way we work, and change the methods that we used in the past,” he said.

In another speech, Medvedev said these events must act as a “wake-up call” for heads of state and social organizations, “in order to take a more energetic approach to countering the global changes to the climate,” as reported by TIME.

“These are not brave statements for European leaders or Obama, but for a Russian president, it’s a new statement,” said WWF’s Kokorin. Even last year, Medvedev’s speeches on climate change were more about helping other continents like Europe and Asia without really focusing on the negative and severe impacts for Russia itself, he said.

Still, it will likely take more than the fires to spark a more aggressive emission reduction commitment from Russia, Kokorin said. “I don’t expect it will change their international climate talk stance this year because their negotiations are very pragmatic and economic-based,” he said. Russian officials have taken the stance in earlier climate talks that committing to curb larger amounts of emissions could hamper the country’s economic growth and that does not appear to be changing.

At international climate talks last winter in Copenhagen, Denmark, the country proposed committing to a 15 to 25 percent reduction in emissions by 2020 based on 1990 levels. The environmental community widely viewed that number as inadequate.

During the most recent round of climate talks in Bonn, Germany, the wildfires were already ablaze, and it did not change how Russia approached the talks, according to Jake Schmidt, international climate policy director for the Natural Resources Defense Council. The representative his organization had at the talks saw no change in the Russian negotiators’ position, he said.

While an isolated natural event cannot be ascribed to climate change, the current Russian heat wave and floods in Pakistan and China are all consistent with climate change predictions, according to Jeff Knight, climate variability scientist at the U.K. Met Office Hadley Centre.

Medvedev has taken steps in the last year to shine light on climate policy for his country, rolling out a “climate doctrine” for his country’s approach to the issue and urging the Russian government to back the doctrine with new laws and regulations. Thus far, however, his words have not translated into action, said Charap. That may be because the public interest in moving on this issue has not been there, he said. “Hopefully, there will be an increase in public awareness now,” he said.

After much of the Soviet Union’s military-heavy industry collapsed in the late 1990s, the country’s emissions dropped far below the baseline level established by the Kyoto Protocol, allowing Russia to stockpile billions of dollars’ worth of emissions allowances without actively greening its industry.

Since then, Russian climate policy has traditionally been shoved to the back burner while public pressure to act remained low and climate skepticism remained high. Just last November, Russia’s state-owned Channel 1 aired a documentary challenging the human link to climate change, titled “The History of Deception: Global Warming,” according to Charap.

The country’s climate stance has also reflected the belief that a little global warming could be a good thing. A 2007 Russian U.N. Development Programme report, for example, suggested the benefits of Russia warming 2 or 3 degrees Celsius might include “higher agricultural yields, lower winter human mortality … lower heating requirements, and a potential boost to tourism” (ClimateWire, June 23, 2009).

This summer’s wildfires, which covered 175,000 hectares as of Monday, have killed 52 people, according to Russian government numbers. The fires have also caused flight delays and prompted Prime Minister Vladimir Putin to ban all grain exports in an effort to stave off some of the inevitable price increases. In previous years, wildfires routinely occurred in more remote Siberian forests, but drought and extreme heat in the Western regions of the country this year have caused more fires to spring up in areas around Moscow.

“The important thing is, wildfires have made this a social issue and caused disruption with a loss of crops and the long-term potential not only of destruction of agricultural lands, but of their forestlands,” said David Burwell, director of the Energy and Climate Program at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. “These things are beginning to gain the attention of not just Medvedev but the media and the rest of the bureaucracy, including Putin.”

While NRDC’s Schmidt said that he hopes this summer’s heat will spur action on more ambitious domestic climate policies, he added that it is difficult to gauge what will move Russian political sentiments. Trying to guess that information is “like trying to read blindfolded,” he said.
Source: www.earthportal.org

 

Prime Minister Vladimir Putin visits peat bog fire fighting sites in the Moscow Region’s Kolomna
Prime Minister Vladimir Putin visited a shooting range at Konstruktorskoye Byuro Mashinostroyenia on the city’s outskirts to see a peat bog flooding experiment. Surrounded with peat bogs, the shooting range was engulfed in a big forest and peat fire in late July.

The prime minister inspected a newly fabricated water supply system that had been laid from the Oka River over five kilometres away. He visited a special reservoir filled with river water to spread across the peat bogs through a network of channels and trenches. This flooding technology is to be used soon in other districts of the Moscow Region.
Vladimir Putin had previously announced that the Russian government had allocated 300 million roubles to fight the peat fires.

Valery Shuvalov, Mayor of Kolomna, said the city’s firefighters had started to flood the peat bogs a week ago in cooperation with the Ministry of Civil Defence, Emergencies and Disaster Relief. Although it has been a week since the last open fire was detected, special observers are patrolling the forests around Kolomna. The city remains in a state of emergency and people are not allowed to enter the woods, Shuvalov said.
Source: www.isria.com

 

Official: Russian disaster sign of global warming
Russia’s heat wave, drought and wildfires – which have killed dozens of people and destroyed millions of acres (hectares) of wheat – are another indication that global warming is causing more weather extremes around the world, a Russian official said Monday.

Alexander Bedritsky, the Kremlin’s weather adviser, also cited other disasters that he believes may be related to rising world temperatures, including Pakistan’s worst floods in recorded history, and France’s 2003 heat wave, which killed 15,000 people.

Taken together, they “are signs of global warming,” Bedritsky, who also serves as president the World Meteorological Organization, said at a news conference.

U.S. climate change envoy Jonathan Pershing also recently said that such weather disasters are the kind of changes that could be the result of climate change.

Russian firefighters, meanwhile, have succeeded in pushing back some of the country’s wildfires, and meteorologists said a cold front was advancing from the northwest that would hit the Moscow region Monday, bringing heavy rains and colder temperatures.

Five-hundred blazes were still burning in Russia, but the amount of land on fire fell 15 percent in the last 24 hours, the Emergency Situations Ministry said Monday. The area covered by fires around Moscow also has nearly halved in size over the past two days, it said.

Russia’s heat wave – unprecedented in 130 years of record keeping – has sparked thousands of fires, most of them in western Russia. Heat and acrid smog from the fires also blanketed Moscow for a week this month, doubling the number of recorded deaths in the city.

More than 50 people have died in the wildfires across Russia, and more than 2,000 homes have been destroyed.

The blazes and drought also have cost Russia one-third of its wheat crop, prompting the government to ban wheat exports through the end of the year in a move that has sent world grain prices to new highs. The government promised subsidies to farmers and warned traders that it would closely monitor prices to protect domestic consumers.

Russia’s economy largely depends on exports of oil and gas, and government officials have traditionally been cautious on climate change issues.

Moscow is a signatory to the 1997 Kyoto Protocol, a pact among industrialized nations to cut carbon emissions by 5 percent by 2012, but a post-Soviet industrial decline had freed it of the need to actually cut greenhouse gases. Russia says that any further deal on emission cuts should credit it for meeting Kyoto obligations ahead of schedule.

Russia’s heat wave has raised concerns that wildfires could spread to areas contaminated by the 1986 Chernobyl nuclear disaster and spread radioactive particles over broader territory. But authorities have insisted that all wildfires in the Bryansk region and other Chernobyl-affected areas have been quickly dealt with.

Officials said they are well equipped to combat blazes, but Lyudmila Kolmogortseva, an environmentalist and a regional legislator in the Bryansk region, said that emergency workers in the area lack firefighting aircraft and could do little if the fires spread.

“Almost a million cubic meters (yards) of dead radioactive wood pose serious danger if the fires spread,” she told The Associated Press. “The forest is practically impenetrable, and we practically have no aviation, so we’ll have nothing to fight the fires if they spread.”

Kolmogortseva said that sporadic blazes in the area covered a total of about 30 hectares (74 acres) this summer but that they all have been extinguished before they could spread radiation.

The regional branch of the Emergency Situations Ministry said Monday there are no fires burning now in the area and that radiation levels have remained normal.
Source: www.kentucky.com
 

  An Emergencies Ministry’s Beriev Be-200 amphibian multirole jet spews some tons of water onto a forest fire near the village of Velino, some 140 km (87 miles) east of Moscow, Saturday, Aug. 14, 2010. Russia has been battling the fires for nearly three weeks. The fires have destroyed provincial towns and villages, and together with the drought have cost Russia a third of its wheat crop. A view of the village of Mokhovoye destroyed by a forest fire two week ago near the town of Lukhovitsy some 135 km (84 miles) southeast of Moscow, Saturday, Aug. 14, 2010. Russia has been battling the fires for nearly three weeks. The fires have destroyed provincial towns and villages, and together with the drought have cost Russia a third of its wheat crop. A local resident, one of the volunteers enlisted to help firefighters, battles a grassfire caused by a wildfire near the village of Velino, some 140 km (87 miles) east of Moscow, Saturday, Aug. 14, 2010. Russia has been battling the fires for nearly three weeks. The fires have destroyed provincial towns and villages, and together with the drought have cost Russia a third of its wheat crop.

 

Emergency Situations Ministry Attributes Smoke In Kyiv To Peat Fires In Chernihiv Region
 The Emergency Situations Ministry has said that the small quantity of smoke in Kyiv is the result of peat fires in the Chernihiv region.

Deputy Emergency Situations Minister Vitalii Romanenko announced this at a press conference.

According to him, the peat fire covers an area of about 25 hectares of land.

Two An-32P fire-fighting airplanes, a Mi-8 helicopter, emergency officials, and other firefighting equipment are involved the efforts to extinguish the fire.

According to him, the fire has practically been localized and efforts are presently being made to prevent the fore from spreading.

He did not rule out the possibility of the fires from the forest fires in Russia spreading to Kyiv from the Ukrainian-Belarusian and the Ukrainian-Russian borders.

As Ukrainian News earlier reported, smoke has been observed in the Kharkiv region since August 14, and the Emergency Situations Ministry attributed it to the peat fires in the Voronezh and Ryazan regions of Russia.

The Emergency Situations Ministry earlier said that the smoke in Kyiv was due to the fires in Russia and the peat fires in the Kyiv region.
Source: http://un.ua

Analysts: Impact Of Drought, Fires In Russia Offset By Other Economic Factors
Russia-based analysts say the economic impact of this summer’s destructive fires and drought will be offset by government spending and higher oil prices, RFE/RL’s Russian Service reports.

Mark Rubenshtein, a Moscow-based financial analyst with the investment firm Metropol, told RFE/RL he predicts there will only be a minor slowing of overall economic growth in 2010 as a result of the disasters.

“The cost of damages caused by the extreme temperatures may be high [for certain] sectors,” Rubenshtein said. But he added that “on the other hand, dealing with the aftermath of the fires is tied to government spending. The growth [in government spending] will to a large extent even out the economic damage caused by the exceptional heat.”

Rubenshtein said funds to pay for the damage caused are available in Russia’s 2010 budget reserve, meaning a revision of the budget will not be necessary.

“At the same time, budget revenues are growing thanks to the growth in the price of oil,” he said. Rubenshtein predicted that the average price per barrel for Urals crude in 2010 will reach $76 to $78.

The Russian government’s previous official forecast was predicated on an annual average of $58 per barrel.

Yelena Penukhina, an analyst with the Center of Macroeconomic Analysis and Short-Term Prognosis, also predicted that the budget deficit in 2010 will not be higher than 4.8 percent of GDP thanks to higher oil prices. She said the government’s management of the budget has improved noticeably.

“Judging by the results of the first half of the year, we can now say with certainty that there will not be an inflationary surge in [budget] spending in the last two months of the year,” Penukhina said.

“This year in Russia the administration of the budget really has improved,” she said. “In the first half of the year the government managed to allocate around 42 percent of all spending planned for the year. This is a record-high figure — it’s usually much lower — and indicates that so far this year budget funds have been allocated on an almost balanced timescale.”

Wildfires in central and western Russia have been burning for weeks. They have thus far killed at least 50 people and devastated hundreds of thousands of hectares of land. Some 500 fires are still burning and extensive drought along with the fires has severely affected the country’s agricultural sector.
Source: www.rferl.org

 

Russian Post Pledges Forest Fire Parcels Support
Russian Post said on Friday it is to provide a free parcels service for humanitarian aid to areas of Russia affected by forest fires. At least 50 people are thought to have persished in the fires.

Over the weekend there were said to be 480 fires raging across an area of 56,000 hectares, around a quarter of , the 200,000 hectares burning during the worst of the fire. The United States has flown in fire fighting equipment to help speed up Russian efforts to bring the fires under control. EU and CIS countries have deployed over 550 fire-fighters, machinery as well as six planes and seven helicopters.

Fears that fires threatened a nuclear research centre in Russia’s Nizhny Novgorod region have been dismissed by the Federal Atomic Energy Agency which said the area had been cleared of volatile materials prior to the approach of fires.

Russian Post said that in cooperation with regional administrations, it would be making all efforts to ensure humanitarian aid parcels reached theior destinations as quickly as possible.
Source: www.hellmail.co.uk

 

Thanks as Russia nuke peril fades
The first planeloads of US aid for the Russian wildfire tragedy have arrived in Moscow as officials say a fire raging close to a top nuclear facility does not risk causing an atomic catastrophe.

The area nationwide alight with fires is about a quarter of what it was a week ago, although there appears to be little progress in reducing the size of the blaze close to the main nuclear research center in Sarov.

Two US Air Force C-130 planes touched down at the weekend. They were followed by a charter flight from California ordered by Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger.

Two more C-130 flights are expected in the next few days and another charter is due within the week.

“We will always remember this gesture, this arm that was extended to us at a very difficult time,” said a top official of the emergencies ministry.

In money terms, the value of the support from Russia’s one-time foe is about US$4.5 million (HK$35.1 million).

There were still 480 fires covering an area of 56,000 hectares to be tamed yesterday, but that compared with almost 200,000 hectares at the peak of the crisis.

“The situation with the wildfires has improved considerably,” Emergencies Minister Sergei Shoigu said.

“The weather has not helped us,” Shoigu added, but “everything has been done by the emergency services, the Interior Ministry, the Defense Ministry and volunteers.”

Fires have raged close to another research center in the town of Snezhensk and to the Mayak nuclear reprocessing site

– both in the Urals – but authorities appeared to have them under control.

“There are no threats from the forest fires to potentially dangerous sites,” Shoigu said. “Potentially dangerous sites are reliably protected.”

The head of nuclear agency Rosatom, Sergei Kiryenko, said the fire menacing the Sarov center, 500 kilometers east of Moscow, had approached the perimeter of the installation before being brought under control. But the risk of a nuclear disaster had receded.

“We can say today for sure that there is no nuclear risk, no radioactive threat and that there is not even an ecological threat on Sarov territory,” he said.

The fires have been sparked by the worst heatwave in Russia’s history, which destroyed a quarter of its crops and blanketed Moscow in a toxic smog.

There were also fears the fires could stir up particles on land contaminated by the 1986 Chernobyl disaster, but officials said radiation levels were normal throughout the country.
Source: www.thestandard.com.hk

 

Russian Storms Cut Power to 96,000; Fire Area Shrinks
Storms in northwest Russia knocked out power to about 96,000 people as emergency crews made headway in their battle against wildfires that have blackened 856,903 hectares (3,309 square miles) this year.

The storms yesterday in four regions, including the Leningrad region around St. Petersburg, packed winds as high as 30 meters per second (67 mph), the Emergency Situations Ministry said on its website today. Almost 79,000 people still had no electricity at 6 a.m. local time, and all customers should have power back by 8 p.m., the ministry said.

The area of active fires in central Russia “significantly decreased” in the last 24 hours, said Vladimir Stepanov, head of the ministry’s crisis center. Crews reduced the fire area by 8,000 hectares to 45,800 hectares in the period, according to the ministry.

Russia’s heartland has been buffeted in recent months by record heat and the worst drought in half a century, which have hobbled agriculture, forcing 29 crop-producing regions to declare states of emergency.

Firefighters may be aided today by a cold front moving through parts of central Russia, including the Moscow region, which will bring showers and occasional hail, the Federal Hydrometeorological and Environmental Monitoring Service said on its website.

Heat Wave

Greenpeace Russia said the fire situation remains “extremely tense and dangerous, though for the first time in a month there’s hope that it may change soon” as rains and cooler temperatures are in the forecast. “It’s still too early to relax,” the environmental watchdog group said on its website.

In Moscow, which set a heat record of 38.2 degrees Celsius (101 degrees Fahrenheit) on July 29, temperatures will remain in the 30s this week before dipping to a high of 23 degrees Celsius on Aug. 20, the state Hydrometeorological Center said on its website.

The capital continued to enjoy a respite from the acrid smoke that smothered it for about three weeks. Pollution levels were within safe limits at noon today, the city’s environmental protection department said on its website.

Three fires were burning yesterday in the Bryansk region, which was contaminated by radiation from the Chernobyl nuclear reactor disaster in 1986, Vladimir Chuprov, an energy campaigner with Greenpeace Russia, said by telephone today.

Radioactive Materials

A threat that radiation will be disseminated via wind and smoke from fires on contaminated land remains, Chuprov said.

The Emergency Situations Ministry said a small fire covering one hectare was burning in the Bryansk region yesterday. “There is no threat that radioactive materials will spread,” regional ministry spokeswoman Irina Yegorushkina said by telephone.

The ministry has no information on fires in the region today, Yegorushkina said.

The Hydrometeorological Center said monitoring in a 100- kilometer (62-mile) zone around Russian nuclear facilities since the fire season began has indicated no increase in background radiation.
Source: www.businessweek.com

 

Forest fires in Russia: The worst is over
The forest and peat fire situation gets more and more stable. Since Sunday, the fire areas were reduced by 8,000 hectares. Still, almost 46,000 hectares are in flames at about 500 fire sources.

Also the number of peat fires has been significantly reduced. According to the Russian Emergencies Ministry are 35 such fires still active.

A press officer of the Emergencies Ministry said on Monday morning that 252 fires have been extinguished during the since Sunday. There there were 494 active fires left on Monday morning.

The fight against the Russian wild fire disaster involved 166,120 people, 62 airplanes and helicopters and more than 26,500 vehicles and machines. The international aid consisted of 515 specialists and 96 technical units.

According to the Emergencies Ministry a total of 27,724 fires covering an area of 856,903 hectares (about 850 square kilometers) has been registered in Russia this year. Source: www.russia-media.ru

 

Few Chernobyl Radiation Risks From Russia Fires

Date: 16-Aug-10

Few Chernobyl Radiation Risks From Russia Fires Photo: Denis Sinyakov
A firefighter works to extinguish a wildfire outside the settlement of Kustarevka in Ryazan region, some 340 km (211 miles) southeast of Moscow August 10, 2010.
Photo: Denis Sinyakov

Fears that fires scorching forests polluted by Chernobyl fallout may propel dangerous amounts of radioactivity into the air are overblown, scientists say, and the actual health risks are very small.

Even firefighters tackling the blazes, which officials say have hit forests in Russia’s Bryansk region tainted by radioactive dust from the 1986 Chernobyl reactor disaster, are unlikely to run any added nuclear contamination risks.

The amount of radiation in smoke would be only a fraction of the original fallout, they say.

“Of the total radioactivity in the area, much less than one percent of it will be remobilized,” said Jim Smith, an expert on Chernobyl and a specialist in Earth and Environmental Sciences at Britain’s University of Portsmouth.

Radioactive contamination in the area has substantially diminished in the almost two and a half decades since explosions at Chernobyl’s reactor No. 4 caused the world’s worst civil nuclear disaster on April 26, 1986.

“Most of the radioactivity is in the soil, which will not be affected by the fires, and only a small proportion is in the vegetation,” Smith said in a telephone interview. “And of that only a very small proportion of that will get re-suspended in the smoke from the fires.”

Russia’s forest protection agency said on Wednesday that fires covering an area of 39 square kilometers (15 square miles) had been registered in regions with forests polluted with radiation. The regions affected included Bryansk province, which borders Ukraine, southwest of Moscow.

“NEGLIGIBLE” HEALTH RISK

Both France’s Institute for Radiation Protection and Nuclear Safety and Germany’s Federal Office for Radiation Protection said on Thursday that while some radiation was likely to be remobilized in smoke, the health risks were minimal and would have no impact on either Russia or neighboring countries.

Maria Neira, the World Health Organization’s director of public health and environment said the WHO had data from controlled burning experiments conducted in the region in recent years and these suggested no reason for concern.

“We know from these experiments that the redistribution and re-suspension of radionuclides (radioactive particles) will be negligible for people’s health,” she told Reuters.

According to experts, the types of radioactive isotopes that might still be active in the Bryansk area include strontium 90 and caesium 137. These substances have half lives of about 30 years, meaning that only about half the radioactive material emitted by Chernobyl is still around now.

France’s Institute for Radiation Protection said there may be a slight increase in radioactivity in the nearby environment due to re-suspension of caesium-137, “but it would be very much lower than the natural radioactivity.”

Portsmouth’s Smith and Stig Husin, an analyst in emergency preparedness at the Swedish Radiation Safety Authority, said the main threat from the fires both locally and nationally in Russia was the choking smoke from forest and peat fires, and the smog which is clouding the air in Moscow — all of which can cause lung and heart problems.

“I would be much more concerned about the smog in Moscow and the health impacts of that — not because of radiation but because of people inhaling harmful air pollution,” said Smith.

Husin said those living near the Chernobyl-contaminated areas where fires have been reported would be wise to protect themselves by staying inside or wearing masks.

“Naturally it would be good if you are living close to the fires to protect yourself from the smoke itself. If you do protect yourself then naturally you protect yourself from the radioactive substances that may be in the smoke.” Source: Planetark

 

 

For more details on fire in the Russian Federation:

 


Bibliography on fire in ecosystems of boreal Eurasia:
One of the results of the first international fire science conference in the Russian Federation (1993) was the publication of a monograph on fire in boreal Eurasia, including some selected contributions on boreal North America. The literature cited in the monograph contains numerous publications which in many cases are not easily accessible. To facilitate literature search the bibliographical sources are provided by topic (chapter).
Goldammer, J.G. and V.V.Furyaev. 1996. Fire in Ecosystems of Boreal Eurasia. Kluwer Academic Publishers, Dordrecht, 390 p.


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