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Forest fires continue in Trans-Baikal area

April 17, 2012, 8:03 UTC+3

“There is no danger to the local settlements,” the department emphasised

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ULAN-UDE, April 17 (Itar-Tass) — Forest fires continue to rage in Russia’s Trans-Baikal Territory the extinguishing of which is complicated by strong, dry winds.

“As many as 68 fire hotbeds at an area of more than 8.5 thousand hectares were registered in a day, of which 24 fires at an area of ··more than 740 hectares have been extinguished. There are 44 fire burning in the area now. The taiga areas affected by fires have reached almost eight thousand hectares,” the Russian Emergency Situations Ministry’s (EMERCOM) main department for the Trans-Baikal Territory told Itar-Tass on Tuesday.

“There is no danger to the local settlements,” the department emphasised. However, it drew attention to the fact that 750 hectares of forest at a distance of several kilometres from the Aleksandrovka village in the Chita district are burning, and taiga at an area of 1,300 hectares is burning five kilometres from the Galkino village in the Shilkinsky district.

According to the EMERCOM department, “three large forest fires are currently burning in the Karymsky district, their total area has reached ··more than 1.8 thousand hectares. The Chita, Karymsky and Shilkinsky districts have one major fire each.

“The biggest hot spot in the Trans-Baikal territory on Monday was a fire in the ·Aginsky district. It affected an area of 3.2 thousand hectares. Other fires do not exceed several tens of hectares, they will most likely be extinguished during the day,” the EMERCOM department indicated.

The Mi-8 helicopter of the EMERCOM and the Be-200 amphibious plane arrived in the Trans-Baikal Territory to provide assistance in the taiga and steppe fire extinguishing efforts on April 14. In addition, nearly 300 smoke jumpers from Krasnoyarsk, Irkutsk and the Moscow region have been dispatched to the area to help extinguish forest fires in the region.

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