MOSCOW, April 29. /TASS/. Russian President Vladimir Putin has handed down instructions to provide all necessary assistance to the people affected by fires raging in Siberia, Kremlin Spokesman Dmitry Peskov said.
"Emergencies Minister Vladimir Puchkov presented a report to President Putin covering the measures that are being taken to extinguish fires in the Irkutsk region and Buryatia, as well as to reduce the risk of new fires," Peskov noted.
Putin also held telephone conversations with Irkutsk region Governor Sergei Levchenko and acting head of the Republic of Buryatia Alexei Tsidenov. "The regional heads informed the president on the steps that authorities were taking to deal with the aftermath of the fires. "Putin ordered Levchenko and Tsidenov to provide the people who lost their homes with temporary accommodation and all necessary assistance," Peskov added.
Meanwhile, a source in the Emergencies Ministry’s Siberian center told TASS that firefighters had saved from fires a total of 3,966 homes in Buryatia, the Irkutsk and Krasnoyarsk regions.
According to the source, on Friday, as many as 97 homes in the three regions were destroyed by fires caused by hot and dry weather and fanned by gusty winds. There have been no casualties.
A state of emergency has been declared in the Siberian Federal District, the number of firefighters combating the blazes has been growing.
On Saturday, Emergencies Minister Vladimir Puchkov held a joint meeting of the government commission’s working group and Buryatia’s emergencies commission, ordering to strictly control all fires. The minister was informed that most fires had been caused by locals burning grass.