Russia: 100 Forest Fires Break Out in Arkhangelsk Region, Komi Republic
8 July 2002
Interfax News Agency, 8 July 2002
Moscow — About a hundred forest fires have broken out in the Arkhangelsk region and in the Komi republic after dry thunderstorms swept over those territories in the past twenty-four hours, chiefof the Russian Ministry of Natural Resources’ aviation forest protection service Nikolai Kovalyov told Interfax on Monday. The fires are not very large, and units of the State Forest ProtectionService and the aviation forest protection service are fully controlling the situation in the northwestern forests, and the largest fires will be put out within the next 24 hours, Kovalyov said.
A total of 259 forest fires have been registered in Russia in the past 24 hours, which cover some 5,000 hectares of forest and 1,000 hectares of non-forest areas, according to the aviation forestprotection service. The State Forest Protection Service and the aviation forest protection service have extinguished 35 forest fires over the past 24 hours. The situation in Yakutia, where 55 forest fires are still burning, remains complicated, Kovalyov said. Forest firefighters have put out 16 large fire hotbeds around Yakutsk in the past 24 hours. Some 3,000 people are engaged in extinguishing forest fires in Russia, having at their disposal 60 planes and helicopters and 268 tractors and bulldozers.
A total of 17,170 fires have broken out in Russian forests since the beginning of the year, which has damaged 526,000 hectares of forests. This is three times as many as on the same date lastyear. In 2001, damage from forest fires in Russia totaled some four billion rubles.