CHERYOMUSHKI /Buryatia/, April 29. /TASS/. Firefighters have saved from grass fires as many as 47 settlements in the Siberian Republic of Buryatia, Russian Emergencies Minister Vladimir Puchkov said on Saturday.
"Thanks to the effective work of the firefighters and their cooperation with local authorities, 47 settlements have been saved from fires," he said.
The minister pointed out that there had been no casualties.
On Friday, 11 settlements in the Irkutsk region, Krasnoyarsk region and the Republic of Buryatia were affected by fires caused by careless use of fire and fanned by strong winds. Around 30 buildings burned down in two Buryatian settlements. A state of emergency has been declared across Siberia due to dry and windy weather.
The Russian emergencies minister also said that human errors were to blame for all the fires. "Law enforcement agencies have been looking into this issue, all those responsible will be brought to justice," Puchkov added.
He stated that additional measures would be taken aimed at controlling the fire situation. "I have already made a helicopter trip to have a look at the affected area, there are some pockets of fire as woodcutters continue to burn forest residues despite the state of emergency," the minister noted.
Meanwhile, a source in the Emergencies Ministry’s Siberian center told TASS that "around 7,000 personnel using more than 2,000 units of equipment have been taking part in firefighting activities.".