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Forest fires area in RF diminish – Federal Forest Agency

August 02, 2012, 3:50 UTC+3

At least 10 fires have been put out within the day, the press service said

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MOSCOW, August 2 (Itar-Tass) — The area of forest fires in Russia has diminished, the Federal Forest Agency’s press service told Itar-Tass on Wednesday, August 1.

At least 10 fires have been put out within the day, the press service said.

As of today a total of 180 forest fires have embraced the area of 26,121 hectares in Russia. “As of 5 p.m. on Wednesday 11 forest fires have been extinguished, 171 fires continue to rage and 43 hot spots have been localised,” an official of the Federal Forest Agency said.

Meanwhile, the fireproof situation in the Siberian region remains non-easy. Krasnoyarsk Territory comprises 79 fires and only 16 fires have been localised. A total of 36 fires are effective in the Tomsk region where every third fire has been localised.

The situation is rather difficult in the Ural region while 16 forest fires operate in the Yamalo-Nenets Autonomous Area. Only one fire has been localised.

According to earlier reports, over 12,000 people and 70 aircraft are involved to fight fires in Siberia, the Far East and the Urals.

About 1,500 people and 164 units of hardware are involved in the fire-fighting situation. Six planes and eight helicopters are flying over territories, which came under fire.

At least 90 units of the federal fire-fighting service, numbering about 6,000 people, 586 units of hardware and 246 units of other types of fire guard – territorial and municipal, are in high alert. Another 5,000 people are in reserve in case of urgent necessity.

The state of emergency was introduced on the whole territory of Krasnoyarsk Territory on July 26. The state of emergency was declared by the decision of the territory’s commission due to the difficult situation in the area.

Minister of Natural Resources Yelena Vavilova said, “Special posts are working in the Territory. They prevent people from going to forests. Those who decide to have a rest there despite the bans will be fined at the sum of 3,000 or 4,000 roubles.”

The smoke does not pose a threat to Krasnoyarsk. However, from July 26 to August 1 the unfavourable weather regime was introduced in the city. In compliance with this regime enterprises are obliged to diminish emissions to the atmosphere. Residents of the city should abstain from making fires.

The Hydrometeorological Centre predicts that the weather will change by August 2-3. Rains may fall in Krasnoyarsk. However, in August the amount of precipitations are below the standard. The high temperature is expected in the city.

At least 34 fires are currently effective in the Tomsk region on the area of 10,300 hectares, deputy governor Andrei Trubitsyn said.

“Additional forces from the federal reserve are being transported to the spot. Four helicopters of the Russian Defence Ministry are expected to arrive,” Trubitsyn said.

“The total group, which fight forest fires in the region, has increased up to 1,577 people and 170 units of hardware. Twenty aircraft are involved in the fire-fighting operation. Additional four combat helicopters are due to arrive,” the deputy governor said.

He stressed, “Much has been done to protect settlements.”

“At present, the ‘forbidden’ methods of using explosive devices are tested to prevent forest fires from spreading,” the deputy governor said.

In his words, 313 paratroopers are involved in order to fight fires.

For his part, an official of the Tomsk meteorological centre, Alexei Krutovsky, said, “The state of emergency has been extended till July 31 because of the unfavourable weather conditions. The heat will not leave the region. The first weeks of August will be rather warm and without heavy rains.”

Earlier, the Emergencies Ministry reported that twelve aircraft, including the Be-200 and Il-76 planes, had been involved to fight fires. “There is no threat to settlements from forest fires,” the ministry stressed.

According to its data, the fire risk situation remains in the Verkhneketsky, Parabelsky, Teguldetsky, Pervomaisky, Molchanovsky, Kargasoksky, Kolpashevsky and Chainsky districts.

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