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Helicopters able to resume fire-fighting operation in Tomsk Region

July 28, 2012, 18:15 UTC+3

Small aviation works, but it is very dependent on the weather

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KRASNY YAR SETTLEMENT, Tomsk region, July 28 (Itar-Tass) — Helicopters will be able to resume their fire-fighting operation, which has been suspended because of the smoke, Russian Emergencies Minister Vladimir Puchkov said.

Puckov said an air group was being expanded to fight fires. Heavy aviation has been involved. The Il-76 and Be-200 planes are putting fires. The group will include three Il-76 planes and four Be-200 aircraft, as well as the Mi-8 and Mi-25 helicopters, the minister told journalists on Saturday.

“Small aviation works, but it is very dependent on the weather. Today helicopters have begun fighting fires. Heavy aviation works day and night to put out fires and protect territories,” he said.

The emergencies minister, the head of the Russian Forestry Service and the Tomsk region governor are flying over the area of wildfires. “Due to the hot weather the cedar layer, bushes and grasses are burning,” Puchkov said.

At the same time, he said the situation was under control.

The minister talked with the leader of the Krivosheyevo district that had one fire on its area. At present, the fire has been localised.

The district’s leader said since May 23 it had not rained with the exception of local and small rains. The human factor is the main reason for fires. “It is impossible to ban the access to the taiga. It is only necessary to do the explanatory work,” Puchkov said.

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