MOSCOW, September 30 (Itar-Tass) —— The wildfire area in Russia exceeded 1.3 million hectares this year, which is less than the year before, a representative of the Federal Forestry Service told Itar-Tass on Friday.
“As of late September, Russia had over 19,000 forest fires of more than 1.3 million hectares. That is 40% less than the year before,” he said.
The majority of wildfires were put out on the day they broke out.
The federal government assigned 5 billion rubles in subsidies for buying fire-fighting equipment in 2011. “Fifty-one regions acquired about 2,000 fire-fighting machines for their 147 fire stations,” he said.
As of Friday morning, Russia had 16 wildfires and all of them were confined.
Eight wildfires of 175.8 hectares were confined in the city of Bratsk, Irkutsk region, the Siberian regional center of the Emergency Situations Ministry told Itar-Tass.
Some 740 people with about 50 machines are putting out the blaze.
It was reported at the joint meeting of the task force of the Irkutsk regional emergency situations department and the Bratsk administration that the local police had seized 15 people over the past week for setting on fire fallen leaves in city parks.
President Dmitry Medvedev ordered to punish Bratsk officials for the slow extinguishing of the wildfires.
Emergency Situations Minister Sergei Shoigu ordered to put out the fires within a day.