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About 40 forest fires on area of 2,000 hectares registered in Siberia

April 07, 2012, 22:04 UTC+3

About 40 forest fires covering an area of 1,743 hectares were registered in Siberia on Saturday, April 7

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KRASNOYARSK, April 7 (Itar-Tass) —— About 40 forest fires covering an area of 1,743 hectares were registered in Siberia on Saturday, April 7. Nine of them on an area of 1,564,500 hectares have been localised, the press service of the Siberian branch of the Emergencies Ministry said.

“Sixteen forest fires are raging on an area of 99.6 hectares in the Trans-Baikal Territory. Four of them on an area of 47.6 hectares have been localised. There are 22 forest fires on an area of 1,643 hectares in Buryatia, of which five on an area of 1,517 hectares have been localised,” the press service said.

There are so-called thermal points – small fires spotted by satellites. Under certain conditions they can develop into big fires. Six such points were registered in Siberia on April 7 – two in the Trans-Baikal Territory and eight in Buryatia. An additional 112 people and 27 pieces of machinery were engaged in the fire-fighting operations there.

A total of 960 people and 174 pieces of machinery have been involved in fire-fighting operations over the past 24 hours.

Fourteen forest fires were extinguished on an area of 1,000 hectares of the taiga in the Trans-Baikal Territory over the past 24 hours.

“There are 16 fires raging on an area of at least 100 hectares. Two hundred people and more than 40 pieces of machinery are used in the fire-fighting operations. Four fires have been localised,” the regional office of the Emergencies Ministry told Itar-Tass.

The main cause of forest fires in the Trans-Baikal Territory is the burning of dry grass. Agricultural firms and farms have been forbidden to burn dry grass, but private households ignore the ban.

An emergency situation has been in effect in the region since March 26. Business activities, hunting and outings in forests are prohibited. Police patrols and posts have been set up on the roads leading to forests.

“Nineteen raids were carried out in the past 24 hours to detect violations of fire safety rules in forests. Four administrative protocols were issued. A total of 367 post, including 28 permanent ones, have been set up to limit access to forests and monitor the situation,” the press service said.

The Russian government will allocate 12 billion roubles for righting forest fires in 2012, a six-time increase from 2010.

Prime Minister Vladimir Putin called for raising public awareness about fire danger and checking the readiness of fire-fighting systems.

“It is necessary to organise proper information work,” Putin said. “Fire fighting capacities should match the danger.”

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