MOSCOW, May 16. /TASS/. Firefighting vehicles have gotten down to putting out fire on a former army base in Udmurtia, a region to the West of the Ural Mountains, the press service of the regional center of the Ministry for Emergency Situations and Civil Defense told TASS.
"The vehicles have moved into the field for reconnaissance and putting out the fire from the ground," an official said.
The press service also said a Mi-8 helicopter of the Emergencies Ministry had poured down water nine times on the burning former drill ground but the crew suspended its mission as dusk fell in.
In all, as many as 435 men and 101 vehicles, including a firefighting train, three drones and Emergencies Ministry’s water bomber aircraft are engaged in the operation.
Evacuation of people from a garrison town has been over, Yaroslav Semyonov, the chairman of the regional government told TASS.
"All the people have been taken to zones of safety away from the garrison town," he said. "The garrison town has 430 apartments, which have room for slightly more than a thousand residents."
"Only the garrison town has been evacuated," Semyonov said. "There’s no need to evacuate people from the village of Pugachevo, as it is located far enough from the base and its position is quite safe."
Earlier reports said about 2,000 people had been evacuated from Pugachevo and from the garrison town.
In the meantime, reports on the size of the area engulfed by the blaze differ, some saying the area is as big as 300 hectares and others indicating open blaze continues on just 15 hectares of land.
The blaze that broke out on the territory of the former army base was accompanied by denotations of singular munitions still remaining there.
The authorities introduced an emergency situation in the Malay Purga district of Udmurtia where Pugachevo and the former base are located.