GORNO-ALTAISK, June 9 (Itar-Tass) — The bodies of six paratroopers who died while extinguishing a forest fire in Tuva have been dispatched from Kyzyl to the town of Shagonar where they are going to be buried on June 10, the regional government’s press service said on Saturday.
Nikolai Bylev, Vladimir Kechil-oola, Kherel Kyzyl-oola, Nikolai Novikov, Sergei Fedotov and Viktor Stremousov will be buried in Shagonar on Sunday. A civilian memorial service will be held prior to the burial. The relatives of the dead have asked Orthodox priests to hold a church funeral service too. Buddhist lamas will hold similar rituals in ethnic Tuvinian families.
The families and relatives of the dead agreed that all the six paratroopers would be buried side by side in one place. Monuments of heroes will be built over their graves.
High-ranking Tuva officials will be present at the funeral.
The seventh paratrooper, Andrei Shilin, will be buried in the Todzhinsky district of Tuva on June 10. Tuva’s Minister of Natural Resources and Environment Viktor Kara-Sal and the deputy head of the State Forestry Committee Andrei Popelyaev will attend the funeral.
The eighth paratrooper, Rodion Huurak, will be buried in Kyzyl with honors on June 11.
Besides, a memorial plaque with the names of all the eight paratroopers will be unveiled at the building of the Tuvinian State Forestry Committee. The plaque will also bear the name of Boris Oyun, born 1960, who died while fighting a forest fire in a remote taiga forest on May 16.
The families of the dead paratroopers will receive a monthly allowance of 16,000 rubles until the youngest child in their families comes of age. Nine children from 1 to 10 years old have been left without fathers.
Eight paratroopers, instead of nine originally reported, died when extinguishing a huge forest fire in Tuva on June 6.
A huge forest fire erupted on an area of 500 hectares in the Barun-Khemchiksky district which later grew into a crown fire and led to human casualties. A group of 14 paratroopers from the Tuva air base was called in to suppress it. Six paratroopers remained alive while the other eight died. All of them underwent training and had professional skills and experience in extinguishing fires.
The youngest paratrooper was 22 years old. The oldest one was 38.
The Federal Forestry Agency has decided to give material aid to the families of the dead.
A difficult forest fire situation has developed in Tuva in recent months. A state of emergency was announced in the republic on June 5.
A dry hot weather with strong squall winds and no rain has set in in Tuva. Fires are raging in impassable mountainous areas at a height of more than 20 kilometers. In these circumstances, the anti-fire service of the Tuva Republic doesn’t have sufficient forces and means to suppress the fires.