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It took month to put out forest fire in Barguzin reserve in Siberia

July 14, 14:25 UTC+3 ULAN-UDE
According to Buryatia's Forestry agency press service, the fire started in a remote mountainous area, so the fire-fighters were transported to the area by air
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© Lev Fedoseev/TASS

ULAN-UDE, July 14. /TASS/. The forest protection service and smoke jumpers have liquidated a forest fire that started in the Barguzin Nature Reserve in Russia’s Buryatia republic on June 13, the republic’s Forestry Agency reported on Thursday.

"The fire has been extinguished in an area of 2,100 hectares. It started in a remote mountainous area, so the fire-fighters, including from the Federal Aerial Forest Fire Center (Avialesookhrana) were transported to the area by air," the agency’s press service said.

The first wildfire in the Barguzin State Nature Biosphere Reserve during the current fire hazard season was registered on June 13, it was sparked by lightning during a thunderstorm. On June 17, there were three hot spots there in an area of 656 hectares. On June 21, two of the three fires were extinguished. Forty-two employees of the Volga parachute group of Avialesookhrana’s federal reserve were dispatched to the are to battle the third forest fire. They reinforced a team of 17 smoke jumpers and 10 forest rangers there.

The grouping was later increased as 28 employees of Avialesookhrana arrived to the Barguzin reserve from the Amur region in the Far East. According to last week’s reports, some 120 people were involved in the fire extinguishing operation.

It was earlier reported that the Prosecutor’s Office of Buryatia exposed violations of the fire safety rules in the Zapovednoye Podlemorye federal state unitary enterprise that includes the Barguzin reserve. An inspection has revealed that "the enterprise has not taken timely and sufficient measures to extinguish a fire in an area of 27 hectares." According to the Prosecutor’s Office, this "caused a quick spread of the fire over a short period of time." The Zapovednoye Podlemorye director was warned in connection with the exposed violations.

On Wednesday, Avialesookhrana reported that the extensive, out-of-control wildfires raging throughout the country, largely ravaging Buryatia and threatening many of Russia’s natural parks, have subsided by roughly 9% over the past day from 26,500 to less than 24,200 hectares. "As of midnight, July 13, Moscow time, 81 blazes were burning throughout the Russian Federation in an area of 24,171 hectares," the report states.

The Republic of Buryatia had the largest area affected by wildfires - 7,100 hectares. Another 2,200 hectares continued to smolder in the republic’s Dzherginsky and Barguzin nature reserves. In the Magadan region, wildfires spread over an area of more than 3,400 hectares.

In the Trans-Baikal region, the area of forest fires decreased to 2,800 hectares, but in the Sokhodinsky Nature Reserve and in the Alkhanai Natural Park - increased to 170 hectares. An area of 2,000 hectares of Yakutia’s forests continues to burn. Also, the raging blazes have swallowed up nearly 3,000 hectares of forest in the Lenskiye Stolby (Lena Pillars) National Park. The forest fire area in the Irkutsk region is nearly 1,700 hectares.

On Wednesday, the press service of the Russian Prosecutor General’s Office reported that this year’s blazes raging throughout Russia have chalked up nearly 22 billion rubles, or $343.68 million in total damages.

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