Russia — MOSCOW – Natural Resources and Environment Minister Sergei Donskoi has ordered the federal forestry service Rosleskhoz to draw up proposals on revoking the forest authority in those regions whose preparations ahead of the forest fire season are deemed unsatisfactory.
Donskoi gave the instruction at a meeting on the effectiveness of the fight against forest fires.
“If the results of the current season reveals that work in individual regions on preventive measures and timely responses were not carried out in the required manner and enabled firest to spread, then the regional authorities will face the most serious consequences, right up to revoking their authority to administer the forests,” Donskoi is quoted in a ministry statement as saying.
Donskoi called on regional authorities to keep a close watch on preventive measures and firefighting.
There are serious systemic problems affecting the quality of the fight against forest fires in a host of regions, he said.
“The regional authorities do not always have objective information concerning the development of the forest fire situation and, accordingly, are unable to make the right firefighting decisions. In some subfederal territories, ineffective work by the municipal authorities to prevent forest fires leads to major forest fire trouble spots. That is fertile ground for the development of emergency situations,” he said.
So far this forest fire season, there have been over 6,000 forest fires in Russia covering a total of 621,000 hectares, damaging 415,000 hectares of forest.
As of the morning of July 7, there were 106 forest fires burning on 12,000 hectares in Yakutia, Komi, Arkhangelsk region, Kamchatka territory and Buryatia. The forest fire situation was critical in the Northwestern, Ural and Far Eastern federal districts.