KRASNOYARSK, July 12. /TASS/. The area affected by forest fires in Siberia has increased sevenfold over the past 24 hours reaching 19,900 hectares, Russia’s Federal Aerial Forest Protection Service (Avialesokhrana) reported on Wednesday.
"In Siberia, wildfires have resumed in the Trans-Baikal Territory engulfing the area of 16,500 hectares. In the Irkutsk region, wildfires continue to rage on 1,200 hectares in Western Baikal protected areas, in the Krasnoyarsk region and Tyva the area affected by wildfires is less than 5 hectares. The area engulfed by wildfires has increased nearly sevenfold over the past 24 hours to reach 19,900 hectares," the forest protection service said.
According to the Ministry of Natural Resources of the Trans-Baikal Territory, as of Wednesday morning, one fire covering an area of 15 hectares is being extinguished in the region, with 42 people being involved in the firefighting effort. The ministry noted though that wildfires are raging in difficult to access areas in the north and northeast of the Trans-Baikal Territory. They pose no threat to populated localities and economic facilities, while "the projected cost of their suppression exceeds the projected damage that may be caused." That was why the regional commission on preventing and eliminating emergency situations and ensuring fire safety decided to terminate the firefighting operation in the area.
Two new fires that have emerged in the Irkutsk region are being extinguished by 58 smokejumpers. No forest fires have been registered in the permanent space monitoring area.
Over the past 24 hours, three fires have been extinguished in Buryatia. According to the republican forestry agency, as of Wednesday morning, eight forest fires that engulfed the area of about 2,200 hectares have been registered in the region.
In the Far Eastern region, 11,600 hectares affected by wildfires have been registered, which is five times less than the day before. In Yakutia, the area affected by wildfires increased by 1,000 hectares to 7,800 hectares. In the Amur region, wildfires engulfed 35,700 hectares yesterday, there are no reports on fires today. In the Khabarovsk Territory, the area decreased 27 times - from 19,700 to 725 hectares.
In Yakutia, 22 forest fires are raging, three of them have been localized. A total of 715 people, including 254 firefighters, 120 forestry service staff members, 320 mobilized local residents and 21 Emergencies Ministry employees along with 35 pieces of equipment, have been involved in the firefighting operation.