Forest fires unceasing in Russia regions

Forest fires unceasing in Russia regions

6 May 2006

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MOSCOW — Forest and steppe fires do not stop in different regions of Russia.

The Emergency Situations Ministry has issued an urgent warning about a high fire danger in the country’s central parts.

The warm weather without rains will keep in central Russia until May 8-9.

The likelihood of fires is high in the Kaluga, Kostroma, Lipetsk, Smolensk and Tambov regions, the ministry said.

There is also a danger of forest fires reaching residential areas and of peat fires.

Rescue services have recommendations to step up control of forest and peat bog fires using helicopter-based infrared equipment, and use the preventive moistening of areas at risk of fires.

Mordovia’s regional government has decreed a special anti-fire regime, with a ban on burning dry grass and litter, making bonfires and using open fire near buildings and forests.

The regional branch of the Emergency Situations Ministry stated that the special anti-fire regime is a forced measure warranted by massive fires raging in the republic for over a week.

About 150 local fires have been reported to the central fire service since the beginning of May. Twelve forest fires have been registered, in which two people died and two got burns. Fire fighters rescued 18 people.

The uncontrolled burning of the last year’s dry grass and making bonfires cause most of forest fires.

This has led to destruction of 110 countryside cottages and 90 houses, including 60 uninhabited.

The Chelyabinsk region’s governor decreed a fire emergency state on Saturday. The decree forbids people and cars entering the woods.

The governor’s press service said that there had been 675 forest fires covering a 1,500-hectare area, which two times the last year’s figure.

Forty-five fires sweeping across 4,500 hectares of forests have been registered in the Baikal region over the past 24 hours.

Four fires have been extinguished, but 30 new ones have arisen.

About 400 people are fighting the fires using 70 units of machinery.

Rains began in the region, helping people combat the fire.

Eighty-eight forest fires have destroyed 7,000 hectares of the taiga in the Chita region since the beginning of the spring.

Fire services have liquidated forest and steppe fires near 12 residential areas in the Kurgan region over the past 24 hours.

Chiefs of the regional emergencies ministry see as a main cause of fires the neglect of elementary fire safety rules.

Tall weeds overgrowing the streets of villages pose most of danger.

About 190 forest fires with a total area of 923 hectares have happened in the Kurgan region this spring. 


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