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Defense Ministry’s planes to make at least 20 flights a day to fight fires in Siberia

According to the Aerial Forest Fire Center, almost 2.8 million hectares of forests are burning in Russia

MOSCOW, August 1. /TASS/. The Russian Defense Ministry’s planes dispatched to fight fires in the Krasnoyarsk Region will carry out at least 20 missions per day, Russian Deputy Defense Minister Dmitry Bulgakov said on Thursday.

"In accordance with the developed flights schedule, Il-76s will make at least 20 flights daily," he said at a teleconference in the Defense Ministry, noting that flights will be carried out in pairs.

Bulgakov added that the servicemen started flights at 08:00 Moscow time. On Friday, four planes will land in Bratsk after the flights. "From there they will perform tasks in the future," he explained.

The helicopter groups that have not fully arrived to the Krasnoyarsk Region yet will also start performing tasks in pairs near communities on August 2.

"An An-26 plane and two Mi-8 military transport helicopters were activated for the response force at Yemelyanovo Airport," the deputy defense minister said.

According to the Aerial Forest Fire Center, almost 2.8 million hectares of forests in the so-called control zone (hard-to-reach area) are burning in Russia. The largest area of fires was registered in the Sakha Region, where 1.1 million hectares of taiga are burning, the Krasnoyarsk Region (more than 1 million hectares) and the Irkutsk Region (about 700,000 hectares). About 2,700 people are fighting wildfires with the use of 390 vehicles and 28 aircraft. A state of emergency was launched in four Russian regions due to the wildfires: on the whole territory of the Irkutsk and Krasnoyarsk Regions, in two districts of the Buryatia Region and in one district of the Sakha Region.