Six people killed bywildland-residential interface fires in Minusinsk, Krasnoyarsk Region, Russia
5 May 2007
GFMC Special Report
Russia — According to the media, in Krasnoyarsk Kray of 3 and 4 May2007 several large fires burned more than 520 country houses near Minusinsk city.Six people died trying independently to suppress fire, four people weretransported to the hospital with strong burns. More than 100 dacha areas weredestroyed. The fires lasted several hours and destroyed the whole dacha village.Hundreds of people were evacuated to safe regions. Most of the damage occurredin Minusinski region and some in the Southern regions of the Kray. The cause offire was carelessness of people burning dry grass. Dry weather and a strong windfanned the fires. More than 4000 ha of pine stand were also destroyed. Thestatus of emergency was declared in Minusinski region.
1 – Fire in a pine stand
Firefighters encountered a complexsituation with extremely fast fire spread. The firefighters hardly wereable to suppress all new fire spots. In the night of 4 May a total of nine fireswere burning. According to the police, someone burned trash and grass. Within aminute the wind blew the fire for several kilometres. The fire services areprepared for new fires since the strong wind is expected in the east regions ofKrasnoyarsk Kray.
2 and 3 Little is left from thehouses
The first fire started on 3 May in themorning from the village Zeleny Bor. The fires concentrated near such villagesas Zeleny Bor, Topolki, Selivanikha, Shoshino, Novotroitskoe, railway stationKrupskaya. Fierce crown fires passed the area South of Topolki village and nearSelivanikha village. Fortunately the fire went to the direction of the road. InShoshino village seven houses burned, a private shop, some wooden structures, twopigs. The total area of fire here is 800 square meters.
4 Another burned house
Almost simultaneously the fire appeared in gardens of societiesCooperator and Stroitel about 10-20 km from Minusinsk. The danger that the citywill be in a fire ring is a real one. In Stroitel 150 country houses burned. 56people were evacuated. In Cooperator 55 houses were destroyed.
5 and 6 – The landscape after the fire battle
The firemen from Minusinski, Shushenski, Kuraginski, Ermakovski regionswere attracted to suppress fires with 27 ground tankers, 8 fire engines,bulldozers, a fire train, personnel of the forest entperprises (leskhozes),police. In the morning of 5 May all fires are suppressed. However, Minusinsk isstill covered with smoke.
Within 24 hours there were a total of 47 fires on the territory of theKray including 6 in Krasnoyarsk. Besides there are 15 forest fires on the areamore than 1226 hectares in Dzerzhinski, Ermakovski, Manski, Partizanski andShushenski regions. In 7 cases the fires were caused by people.
7 – Why?
On 3 May 2007 the Ministry of Emergency (EMERCOM) of Russian Federationcalled for an emergency meeting of the responsible government commission inMoscow. The most fire-threatened regions are Krasnoyarsk Kray, Tuva Republic,Khakhassia, Buryatia and Chitaregion. The Minister for Emergency Situations said that about 200 people wereleft homeless.
8 Reports of the fires in the Russian TV (NTV)
9 Satellite-derived map of active fires burning in Krasnoyarsk Kray on 3 May2007. The fire sites in Minusinsk can be seen in the upper central part of themap.
Sources: Regional Northeast AsiaWildland Fire Network (L.. Kondrashov),based on informationof NTV (TV) and the local press (Krasnoyarski Rabochiy, etc.). Satellite map:Fire Remote Sensing Laboratory, Sukachev Institute of Forest, Russian Academy ofSciences, Krasnoyarsk (A. Sukhinin).