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Krasnoyarsk once again choking on wildfire smoke

August 05, 2012, 12:25 UTC+3

In the north of the Krasnoyarsk region 53 wildfires have engulfed an area of 5,816 hectares

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KRASNOYARSK, August 5 (Itar-Tass) — Russia’s Far Eastern city of Krasnoyarsk once again is choking on smoke from wildfires after a short breathing space brought by winds and rains.

In the north of the Krasnoyarsk region 53 wildfires have engulfed an area of 5,816 hectares. Firemen have managed to reduce the number of major fires to two, and one of them has been localized.

According to the regional centre for forest fires, most fires, 47 (5,592 hectares), rage in remote areas far from settlements and forest roads, and aircraft are used to combat them. Firemen and volunteers put out another four fires covering an area of 64 hectares. “There is no threat to the local settlements,” department sources said.

All in all about 1,000 people take part in firefighting efforts. They are assisted by almost 200 units of hardware and ten aircraft, including two Il-76 planes with water dumping equipment.

Northern winds have driven dense smoke from wildfires to Krasnoyarsk and its neighborhood, as well as to Khakassia. Specialists from the regional Rospotrebnadzor consumer rights watchdog monitor the ecological situation in Krasnoyarsk and the region daily. Maximum allowable concentrations of harmful substances have been exceeded in two districts (Motygino and Yenisei), where most wildfires are fixed.

An emergency situation regime was imposed in the Krasnoyarsk region on July 26. Local residents are advised not to go to forests and observe fire safety rules.

All in all 2,190 wildfires have been fixed in the region this year. Wildfires have destroyed or damaged about 266,000 hectares of taiga.

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