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Emergencies Ministry forces on alert to prevent wildfires, while heat sets in

August 02, 2014, 12:15 UTC+3 (updates) < (updates)

Fire risk zones around Moscow are monitored every day. A total of 1,000 routes are patrolled

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MOSCOW, August 2 (Itar-Tass) - Russian Emergencies Minister Vladimir Puchkov has ordered to keep all peat areas under control to prevent fires.

"All peatbogs must be under tight control," the minister told a government working group meeting.

"Use mobile drilling systems where water sources are far away. Drill wells and extinguish fires. Special attention to peatbogs," he said.

The Emergencies Ministry will provide additional drones to monitor the situation in the Moscow Region, he added.

The Emergencies Ministry’s spokesman Alexander Drobyshevsky told Itar-Tass earlier that forces of the Emergencies Ministry in central regions were placed on alert, and a special fire prevention regime was imposed in 14 central Russian regions in connection with the complicated wildfire risk situation.

Firefighters were sent from other regions to reinforce teams fighting forest peat fires in the Tver region. The force numbered 576 people, he said.

The ministry's forces continued to fight fires and monitor the situation in central and northwestern regions on Friday. In the past 24 hours, aircraft dropped more than 1.6 tonnes of water onto burning forest areas.

The use of aircraft helped prevent a fire from spreading to the residential site of Staroye Melkovo in the Tver Region and extinguish a fire in the Novgorod Region, Drobyshevsky said.

Be-200 and Il-76 planes and Ka-32 and Mi-8 helicopters were used in the operations.

The Moscow Region's deputy government head Dmitry Pestov said 222 wildfire outbreaks had been reported in the region in 2014. The number of fires declined every year, he added.

Fire risk zones around Moscow are monitored every day. A total of 1,000 routes are patrolled.

Meanwhile, weather forecasters said it would be unusually hot in the Central Federal District next week. "Air temperatures will be higher than the normal climatic level during the week," a senior official at the Russian federal meteorological service (Roshydromet), Yuri Varakin, told the meeting of the government working group on emergencies.

Varakin said temperatures in central and northwestern regions were four-six degrees higher than the normal level. Temperatures in regions west and southwest of Moscow may rise to 35 degrees Centigrade. No raining is forecast.

Minister Puchkov said earlier that the forecast was unfavorable.

Firefighting services are doing everything to prevent recurrence of the situation of the summer of 2010 when Moscow for many days remained shrouded with smoke from wildfires in neighboring regions.

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