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ULAN-UDE, October 7 (Itar-Tass) — The total area of taiga fires was reduced by 400 ha in the Trans-Baikal Territory over the past day. There are 23 forest fires on 1,900 ha in nine municipal districts in the region. Ten of them on 470 ha are localized, a source at the Russian Emergencies Ministry's Trans-Baikal regional department told Itar-Tass.
About 900 people with more than 120 units of machines, including water carriers, bulldozers and tractors, are fighting the blaze. Additional groups continue to arrive there. More than 100 members of airborne forces from other regions help in the operation. Another group of more than 50 firefighters are expected to arrive this Friday.
Air reconnaissance is conducted in the taiga every day. Two helicopters of the Emergencies Ministry's Siberian regional centre are working there. The aircraft are also used to airlift firefighters and equipment from the extinguished fires to areas of new outbreaks. Other two EMERCOM helicopters will begin to work to drop water onto burning sites.
The situation is under control. There is no threat to residential areas and facilities, the source said.
A state of emergency was imposed in the Trans-Baikal region on October 3. The population is barred from entering forests. Policemen, forest rangers and firemen guard the accesses to the forests at 70 posts, and 30 mobile teams more patrol the taiga and force out those who come in forests despite the prohibition.