RussiaLoses Vast Area of Forest to Fires in 2003 BBC Monitoring International Reports September 16, 2003
Moscow — About 2m hectares of forests have been destroyed in Russia this year. There have been nearly 25,000 forest fires this year, mainly in Siberia and the Far East, ITAR-TASS learnt at the Russian Emergencies Ministry today. (Passage omitted)
Fire-fighters and forestry workers in Siberia, the Far East and the Urals are still trying to get forest fires under control. According to the Emergencies Ministry, fires are raging in Chukotka, Magadan, Novosibirsk, Tyumen and Tomsk Regions, in the republics of Yakutia and Altay, and in the Khanty-Mansi Autonomous Area, on a total area of nearly 9,000 ha. Tomsk Region has been put on alert.
The Emergencies Ministry has said the forest fires do not pose a threat to towns and villages. Up to 500 people are engaged in fire-fighting. The Emergencies Ministry Antistikhiya (for dealing with natural disasters) centre predicts that “in the next few days the situation in these regions will stabilize”.