Interview with Mikhail Giryaev, Deputy Chief, Federal Forest Service
28 October 2009
published by Garant
Russia –Extract of the interview:
Forest fires in Russia covered 2.4 million hectares in 2009. It is at the level of last year. The area is fairly large. Average area traversed by fires over the past 10 years is between 2 to 2.5 million hectares. By 2007, forest fires suppression was concentrated in the Federal Forestry agency. Today fire suppression is implemented by the regions. The beginning of these reforms in 2007 and 2008 made an extremely negative impact on the fire situation. In 2009, the situation was stabilized, but there is a number of problematic issues, on which Rosleskhoz is working with the regions. For example, Khabarovsk Territory is burning while the Amur Region has no fires. Khabarovsk Krai aviation base is stretched. But the Amur region can not move its fire forces to Khabarovsk Krai. Rosleskhoz prepares an amendment to the Forest Code of Russia. Russia needs to create 5 basic federal centers of aviation forest fire protection concentrating concentrate up to 300 paratroopers equipped with new helicopters and airplanes including BE-200. This should be a rapid response force. In 2009, Russia introduced in full the remote monitoring of forest fire situation. Rosleskhoz receives satellite images six times per day. These images reflect the whole dynamics of the fires, their development and all this information in real time is sent to the regions. And there is a to provide this information to the computer of each leskhoz and each tenant. Thus, this system will help to detect fires, mobilize all resources to suppress fires. There are problems. But Rosleskhoz works on them together with the regions. It is important that in 2009 first in the last years there no people killed by fire, no villages destroyed by fires and no damaged infrastructure.