Forest Fires Massively Destroying Taiga in Khabarovsk Territory
ITAR-TASS News Agency, July 2, 2003
By Boris Savelyev
Khabarovsk — Forestry protection services in Russia’s Far-Eastern Khabarovskterritory are registering new hotbeds of fire every day. A total of 37 hotbedsregistered to-date cover an area of 6,000 hectares. Of that number, 12 hotbeds have appeared since Tuesday morning. The Khabarovsk territory has the biggest resources of wood in the east ofRussia, and emergency services have rushed about 600 firefighters, 125 units oftechnology and 15 aircraft to stop the spread of raging fires, which destroyed400 hectares of taiga since Wednesday morning. Territorial economy has suffereda damage of several hundred million rubles because of the fires since thebeginning of the year. In all, fires affected 632,000 hectares of taiga inRussia’s Far Eastern Federal District since the start of the year, said sourcesin the Far-Eastern District department for natural resources control.