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Rescuers continue to build up forces to fight fires in Bratsk

October 01, 2011, 20:41 UTC+3

Rescuers of the Emergencies Ministry continue to build up forces in the area where fires rage in Bratsk

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KRASNOYARSK, October 1 (Itar-Tass) — Rescuers of the Emergencies Ministry continue to build up forces in the area where fires rage in Bratsk, Irkutsk region, the Siberian emergency centre told Itar-Tass on Saturday.

Fire-fighting units of the Irkutsk region were involved to extinguish fires, the emergency centre said.

The Il-76 plane carrying 118 rescuers arrived in Bratsk from Krasnoyarsk. One more plane due to carry 145 rescuers was expected to arrive in Bratsk from Novosibirsk. “Fire- fighting detachments of the Kemerovo and Tomsk regions – totally 150 people – are placed in reserve,” the emergency centre stressed.

A total of 500 backpack fire-extinguishers, which are more effective to fight smouldering fire seats, have been delivered to the Bratsk region. Additional 363 backpack fire-extinguishers will be delivered to Novosibirsk. In addition, 300 backpack fire-extinguishers are placed in reserve in the Tomsk and Kemerovo regions. They will be sent to Bratsk if it necessary, the emergency centre said.

“Today two Mi-8 helicopters are planning to be used to fight fires in Bratsk while the Be-200 amphibious planes will put out fires in the Bratsk region,” the centre said.

As of 7 a.m. local time seven fire spots threaten Bratsk’s park belt on the area of 173,5 hectares. They have been localised.

Eight wildfires of 175.8 hectares have been confined in the city of Bratsk, Irkutsk region, the Siberian emergency centre said.

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.

The minister demanded to extinguish everything within the day. If necessary, fire teams from Irkutsk and Angarsk must be brought in. He also demanded to give him the names of those responsible for the "disorder".

According to the regional Health Ministry, the number of cases when Bratsk residents come to hospitals for medical aid has increased 20 percent and the number of calls to the first aid service has increased 30 percent.

All the polyclinics in the city will work on the weekend. People ill with asthma are under special control. Doctors will give checkups to 2,300 children registered as asthma sufferers.

The Emergencies Ministry's Irkutsk regional department told Itar-Tass earlier in the day that 471 people with the use of 46 vehicles were fighting the fires in the Bratsk forest.

The city's firefighting services have been mobilized, and ten organisations that have appropriate equipment, police and volunteers, local residents, participate in the work.

The weather conditions remain adverse. The weather is dry, and there is no wind to remove the smoke. Protective masks are given to schoolchildren and children in kindergartens in the city.

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