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YEKATERINBURG, July 4. /TASS/. Transport aircraft of the Russian Defense Ministry have delivered special military equipment aimed to help fight forest fires in Siberia’s Irkutsk region, Central Military District Assistant Commander Colonel Yaroslav Roshchupkin said on Tuesday.
"Aircraft of the Russian Aerospace Force have delivered units of the Central Military District’s Separate Railway Brigade from the city of Abakan to the city of Bratsk, as well as the T-170 bulldozers, meant to be used in order to contain wildfires," Roshchupkin said.
According to him, more than 50 troops and personnel of the military forestry agency are currently involved in firefighting activities, as well as around 20 pieces of special equipment, including the Mil Mi-8 helicopters of the Central Military District’s search and rescue squadron deployed to the Bratsk airfield.
The Central Military District’s regional command center located in the city of Yekaterinburg has been coordinating the units’ activities. The center has also been monitoring the fire situation on the territories adjacent to the Volga River, as well as in the Urals region and Siberia, while maintaining contacts with the local authorities and divisions of the Emergencies Ministry.
As of early July, wildfires have engulfed more than 100,000 hectares of the forest tundra in the Irkutsk region, many fires are hard to combat as they are active in distant areas. According to the regional administration, the fire situation in the Katagansky, Bodaibinsky, Tulunsky and Ust-Udinsky districts has been under constant space surveillance.