Russia: Over 130,000 Hectares of Taiga in Flames in Baikal Region
(published by ITAR TASS News Agency, 27 May 2003)
By Alexei Subbotin
More than 130,000 hectares of taiga are engulfed in flames in Russia’s Chita region and Buryatia, the local department for natural resources reported on Tuesday.
Most hit by forest fires is the Chita region, where over 75 fire centres occupy the area of 79,000 hectares. Fire has been localized on another 51,000 hectares, department sources said.
A total of 2,100 people are combating the blaze. Planes and more than 300 vehicles are used to help put out the fires. As for Buryatia, more than 40 fires on the area of 4,000 hectares are fixed in that Siberian republic, the sources said. Ten fire centres have been localized. A total of 600 people assisted by hardware and planes are fighting against the fire in the republic.