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ULAN-UDE, July 1. /TASS/. The state of emergency has been lifted in connection with the improvement of the fire hazard situation in six districts of Russia’s Buryatia republic in Siberia, the republic’s forestry agency reported on Friday.
"By the republic head’s decree the state of emergency was lifted in the forests of the Bichursky, Bauntovsky Evenkiysky, Kabansky, Okinsky, Selenginsky and Tunkinsky districts," the agency said. As of the morning of July 1, a total of 12 blazes in a total area of more than 3,000 hectares were recorded in Buryatia, and another six hot spots in an area of 150 hectares were localized.
Over the past 24 hours, eight new fires in a total area of some 26 hectares have been recorded in the region, the forestry agency said. "The hot spot in the Pribaikalsky district was promptly extinguished and part of the hot spots have been localized. The fires were caused by lightning during thunderstorms and the population’s careless handling of fire," the agency’s press service said.
More than 640 people with 76 pieces of heavy and forest fire-fighting equipment have been engaged in the wildfire extinguishing efforts in the region. "The R2006T, Antonov An-2 planes, the Mil Mi-2 and Mi-8 helicopters are used for aerial monitoring of the wildfire situation and for redeployment of smokejumpers of the Aerial Forest Fire Center. "The aviation fire-fighting group in Buryatia comprises 11 aircraft," said the republic’s forestry agency press secretary Alexandra Yegorova.
The fire hazard season in the region started on April 8. Over the past 24 hours, a total of 447 wildfires have been recorded in the republic, with more than 102,000 hectares of woodland damaged by blazes. "Compared to the same period in 2015, the number of forest fires has decreased by 50.4% and the forestland area damaged by fires has decreased by 70.4%," the agency added.