Russia on fire. Fires surround Yakutsk in Siberia

Forest fires are moving closer to Yakutsk – a large Siberian city is enveloped in smoke since Wednesday morning. The situation is worse than it was in summer 2010.

“Basically, the smoke is brought by the wind from the Namskogo area. Besides, during the past day, a new hotbed of fire in the urban district, 30 km from the capital of the republic, emerged”, Interfax was told by representative of the Republican EMERCOM.

According to it, the smoke should disappear as soon as the wind changes its direction or the hotbeds of fire are eliminated. There are no threats to lives of the people and economic entities, the officials claim. The regional department of the Russian Agency for Health and Consumer Rights posted on Wednesday on its website a reminder for people “How to protect against the smog”, but the townspeople do not hasten to follow these guidelines and wear gauze masks.

Meanwhile, the head of the Department of Forestry in the Far Eastern Federal District, Vladimir Kovalenko, believes that it is time to introduce the emergency regime throughout the region. Until now, it was done only in the Amginsk district of Yakutia region and in 15 districts.

“More than a thousand wildfires have been recorded in the Far East since the beginning of the fire-hazard periods. The area, covered in 2011, has already exceeded 172 thousand hectares. More than half of wildfires occurred in Yakutia. Strong winds in the country contribute to their rapid dissemination”, Kovalenko said at a press conference in Khabarovsk.

It is to be recalled that the “fire season” basically has not yet begun, but fires are already raging in many regions of Russia.

Difficult situation with wildland fire is observed, in particular, in the Amur Oblast and Khabarovsk Krai.

“There are so many fires in these regions as in Yakutia, and they have already received the fourth grade of complexity”, stressed the head of the department.

A particular concern is that by this May, there are more fires recorded in the Far East than in 2010. Last year, by the end of May, there were 440 fires recorded, and in this year – more than a thousand, the RIA Novosti reports.

Despite that, the ringleader of the EMERCOM, Shoigu, announced that the situation with the fires in Russia this year is supposedly better than in the past. However, Russian media reported that the EMERCOM cannot cope with forest fires.

During the day, the surface area of forest fires in Siberia increased two-fold. As of May 22, 92 hotbeds of fire were blazing on 1,935.6 hectares, and only 38 fires on 641 hectares were prevented from further spreading.

The EMERCOM ringleader promised he would increase the capacities for extinguishing fires in Yakutia, the Krasnoyarsk Territory and in some regions of Siberia.

At the moment, forest fires are raging in eight so-called “subjects” of the Russian Federation: Yakutia, Buryatia, Tuva, Yekaterinburg, Irkutsk and Amur regions, the Trans-Baikal and Krasnoyarsk regions.

Judging by an early start of the “fire season”, the European part of Russia should soon follow suit, in particular, Moscow and the Moscow region.

source : KC

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