Fire on slopes of Mount Ai-Petri in Crimea contained

Fire on slopes of Mount Ai-Petri in Crimea contained

27 August 2007

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Ukraine — A major forest fire on the slopes of Mount Ai-Petri in the Yalta Mountainous Preserve in the Crimea has been contained, the Ukrainian Ministry for Emergency Situations reported on Monday.

The fire is raging on the area of 50 hectares at the present moment. There is no threat for local settlement.

The manmade incident on the slopes of Mount Ai-Petri near the resort town of Alupka has claimed the lives of two people – the forest ranger and his wife. Their death has been officially confirmed.

The spouses were trapped by fire in the forest and found it impossible to escape.

A water-dumping plane An-32P and three helicopters of the emergencies ministry equipped to take in seawater, have joined the battle against the wildfire. Almost 650 people assisted by fire-fighting vehicles continue combating the blaze.

The role of an arsonist was involuntarily played by a 29-year-old tourist from Kharkov, who put out the fire at dusk Friday to draw the rescuers attention to himself.

The flames spread in the twinkling of an eye over an area of several hundred square meters. When mountainous rescue workers tracked the misfortunate tourist down, the blaze was already threatening his life.

Sunday afternoon, the fire embraced a forest area of over 74 hectares. Although the authorities brought more than a thousand rescuers and 39 units of technology into operation, the mountainous terrain impeded the efforts severely.

In addition to it, a strong wind blowing at around 70 kilometres per hour was driving the fire closer and closer to the Alupka resort.

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