Badische Zeitung

The Taiga is burning in Russia’s Far East

(published by Badische Zeitung,23 May 2002)

Forests are set on fire deliberately so one can buy them cheap for exploitation

Moscow, 23 May 2002. The region of Jakutia in Siberia is strongly affected by fire and water. Like last year numerous rivers burst their banks due to unexpected warm weather. The capital of the region, Jakutsk, was not directly affected by water, but the losses on dams and buildings in the subburbs amount to several millions of dollars. Russia’s biggest producer of diamonds spends no money on these problems.
Unusually hot and dry weather conditions caused wildfires on some thousand square kilometers. The fires in the neighbouring region of Irkutsk are contained. The firefighters were assisted by strong rainfalls.
The Taiga in Russia´s far east keeps on burning. The number of fires in the Khabarovsk region increased from 77 to 86 from Tuesday to Wednesday 21-22 May 2002. Eleven fires had been contained but 21 new fires were reported. The total area affected reached 70,000 ha. The state of emergency had been declared for three rural districts.
The minister of Emergency Situations Management (EMERCOM), Sergej Shoigu, arrived in Khabarovsk yesterday. For the first time Shoigu admitted that in most cases the fires are caused by arson. Forestry companies are buying burned forests for bargain prices in order to resell the timber for higher prices.
Badische Zeitung, Freiburg, 23 May 2002, by Alexeij Dubatov, Correspondent to Badische Zeitung, Freiburg (translated from German to English by GFMC)


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