Over 250 forest fires engulf on over 35,000 hectares in Russia

Over 250 forest fires engulf on over 35,000 hectares in Russia

14 May 2009

published by www.itar-tass.com

Russia —

Over 250 forest fires have engulfed on a total of 35,000 hectares in Russia, the information department of the Russian Emergency Situations Ministry told Itar-Tass on Thursday.

Four major fires on a total of 5.4 thousand hectares are raging in the Trans-Baikal territory and the Russian Republic of Buryatia. “The firefighting efforts are still in progress in the settlement of Sibiryakovo, Trans-Baikal territory,” the information service said. A forest fire has engulfed on a total of 2,000 hectares due to strong winds in the territory on Wednesday. Sibiryakovo was exposed to a fire threat in the vicinity of the Trans-Baikal city of Petrovsk-Zabaikalsky.

“The fire damaged six residential houses. Some 263 people, including 238 children with mental disorders were evacuated from the children’s asylum. Some 20 people, including five children, were evacuated from the residential houses damaged in the fire,” the information service said.

Though the fire threat to the settlement was lessened, the firefighting efforts are in progress. “Over 1,000 people are involved in the firefighting operation,” the information department. More than 7.6 thousand people and over 1,500 pieces of special machinery, including 39 airplanes and helicopters on air reconnaissance missions are involved in the firefighting operations in Russia.

“More than 10,000 wildfires have broken out on a total of more than 484,500 hectares in Russia since the start of the fire-prone season,” the information department said.

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