ForestFires Gathering Pace Again in Russia’s Far East ITAR-TASS News Agency September 27, 2003 By Boris Savelyev
Khabarovsk — Following two weeks of a relatively calm situation with forest fires in the Russian Far-Eastern territories, blazes are against spreading in the taiga.
Spokespeople for the Far-Eastern regional center of the Emergency Situations Ministry said 13 large forest fires have engulfed area of almost 2,200 hectares. Seven new sources of fire have been registered in the Maritime territory and two in the Khabarovsk territory. The taiga is also ablaze in Yakutia and in Chukotka.
Fall is always a period of high fire risks in the Far East. This year, forest blazes have destroyed almost 500,000 hectares of the taiga, and damage has been inflicted on forest preserves in the Khabarovsk territory, the Amur region and neighboring regions.
A total of 383,500 hectares of steppes and bush and over 700 hectares of peat bogs have also been affected.
Weather forecasters say, in the meantime, the prospects for October are not encouraging.