Russia — Almost 30 percent of Russian towns and villages in wooded areas are not ready to deal with forest fires, an emergencies ministry official said on Wednesday.
The Emergency Situations Ministry conducted thorough checks of more than 11,300 locales across Russia to make sure local authorities had taken appropriate firefighting measures prior to the start of the season of wildfires.
“At present, only 71 percent of towns and villages in forested areas are ready to cope with potential forest fires this summer,” said Yury Deshevyh, the head of the supervisory department at the ministry.
The standard set of firefighting measures includes systems of emergency water supply, public warning measures and storage of specialized firefighting equipment, the official said.
Forest and peat-bog fires raged across European Russia in July and August last year amid an unprecedented heat wave and severe drought. The fires killed at least 50 people, and destroyed more than 2,000 homes, leaving thousands homeless.