Russian Forest Fires Claim Ninth Victim


Russian Forest Fires Claim Ninth Victim 

(published by: BBC Monitoring International Reports, 16 May 2004)

(Presenter) (Forest) fires in Kurgan Region (south Siberia) have claimed theirninth victim, the region’s governor, Oleg Bogomolov, reported today. It is nowbelieved that there are no children among them. However, four other people havebeen taken to hospital, a child of nine among them.

Forest fires in Kurgan Region have in the main been localized, EmergenciesMinister Sergey Shoygu told a regional operational HQ earlier. He stated thatthe human factor was one of the main reasons why forest fires had begun in theregion. Put plainly, they were started deliberately.

The area affected by the fires is, at present, some 4,000-5,000 ha. Firefightersyesterday were successful in their attempts to keep the flames away from twopopulation centres in the region, Staryy Prosvet and the village of Vvedenskoye,whose population is at least 1,500. No people had to be evacuated.

Yesterday, the Emergencies Ministry firefighting aircraft in the area made morethan 10 flights. As for today, two more planes and three helicopters of theEmergencies Ministry will take part in operations to fight the fires.

(In all, seven population centres have been affected by the forest fires inKurgan Region, Interfax news agency, Moscow, in Russian 2014 gmt 15 May 04reported.

“With some 400 homes and buildings burnt down, more than 1,000 people havebeen left homeless,” some of whom have been accommodated in holiday centres,schools and summer camps, the agency said.

It added that 1,500 firefighters were at the scene, assisted by an EmergenciesMinistry Il-76 aircraft and an Mi-8 helicopter. The flames are spreading northfrom the city of Kurgan, with strong winds and temperatures of up to 40 degreesCelsius, the report added.)

In the Siberian Federal District, as of Sunday morning (16 May), 60 forest fireshad been recorded over a total area of 1,658 ha, according to information fromthe duty officer of the Emergencies Ministry regional centre.

The site of the largest of them is an almost inaccessible mountainous districtin the Republic of Tyva. Everywhere, the special services and volunteers havebeen battling the flames to contain them. Particular attention is being paid tofighting fires in the vicinity of population centres, the Emergencies Ministrysaid.

There have been no fatalities or casualties in the federal district. Nor hasthere been any damage to homes and built-up areas.

(Source: Radio Russia, Moscow, in Russian 0700 gmt, 16 May 2004)


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