Big fire in taiga near Baikal lake localized

Big fire in taiga near Baikal lake localized

20 August 2007

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ULAN-UDE, August 20 (Itar-Tass) — A big forest fire in the Baikal national park has been localized in the Russian Republic of Buryatia on Monday.

The fire broke out in the taiga near the Baikal Lake a week ago as a result of a thunderbolt, a source in the main emergencies department in Buryatia told Itar-Tass. The fire spread onto 800 hectares of taiga. The flames spread on 650 hectares by the treetops that complicated the firefighting efforts.

Another big taiga fire, which is raging 35 kilometers north of the district center of Turuntayevo in the Baikal region, cannot be localized yet. There the flames engulfed 500 hectares of taiga, on 100 hectares of which the fire is spreading along the treetops. The hard-to-reach terrain hampers the firefighting efforts. Settlements are not in danger.

Eleven forest fires on the area of 1,4 thousand hectares are raging in Buryatia now. As many as 996 forest fires have broken out in the republic since early spring. They damaged and destroyed about 22,000 hectares of taiga.

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