MOSCOW, April 22. /ITAR-TASS/. The area of wildfires in Russia has exceeded 12 thousand hectares, but they pose no hazard to the nearby populated localities, spokesman for the Russian Ministry of Emergency Situations (EMERCOM) Alexander Drobyshevsky told ITAR-TASS.“There are at present 97 spots of fire at an area of more than 12 thousand hectares, including 23 major ones, in the Far Eastern and Siberian Federal Districts. Most of the fires have been registered on the forest fund lands and one — on the lands of specially protected natural reservations in the Irkutsk region,” Drobyshevsky said.
He specified that a total of 266 fires started over the past day and 263 have been extinguished.
According to the official, there is no threat to the populated localities and economic facilities.
“The most serious situation is in Primorsky Krai, as well as in the Amur and Irkursk regions. A state of emergency has been introduced in the Amur region, Jewish Autonomous Region, in Trans-Baikal and Primorsky territories, in the Buryatia Republic and in the Irkutsk region in order to settle the issue of forest fires,” the ministry representative said.
He noted that space monitoring of wildfires was also actively used. “The space monitoring has helped to find 580 hot spots in a day. Checks of the detected hot spots have confirmed 450 fires, of which 306 were agricultural burnings and 122 — forest fires,” Drobyshevsky said.
Almost three thousand wildfires started in Russia since the beginning of the fire hazard period.
“A grouping of forces and means comprising some 3,000 people and more than 900 machinery units is engaged for the protection of populated localities, infrastructure and economic facilities and extinguishing forest fires. In addition, aviation is used — more than 30 helicopters and planes. Eleven flights were performed on Monday by the aircraft that dumped about 400 tonnes of water on the hot spots,” Drobyshevsky said.