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Russian government to earmark over $90 mln for firefighting in Siberia, Far East

The funding source is the government's Reserve Fund

MOSCOW, August 13. /TASS/. Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev has signed a decree on allocating roughly 6 bln rubles ($91.6 mln) from the Reserve Fund to the Federal Agency for Forestry, the Emergencies Ministry and the Defense Ministry for firefighting efforts in Siberia and the Far East. A respective document was released on the official legal information website on Tuesday.

"To allocate in 2019 budgetary provisions for federal budget subventions amounting to 1.889 bln rubles ($28.8 mln) to the Federal Agency for Forestry from the Reserve Fund of the government of the Russian Federation for funding firefighting activities on the territory of the Sakha Region (Yakutia), Krasnoyarsk Region, and Irkutsk Region," the document reads.

Moreover, over 1.78 bln rubles ($27.15 mln) and 2.3 bln rubles ($35 mln) have been earmarked for the Defense Ministry and the Emergencies Ministry, respectively, "for reimbursement of firefighting costs," according to the decree.

According to the figures provided by the Aerial Forest Protection Service, as of August 13, active firefighting efforts were underway to combat 159 wildfires on the territory of 266,393 hectares. In hard-to-access and remote areas, 301 wildfires were registered on August 12 on the territory of over 2.7 mln hectares. Those wildfires are not being extinguished because they do not pose a threat to settlements or economy, while costs of firefighting efforts there would exceed the expected damages from the blazes.

A state of emergency has been declared in Irkutsk, Yakutia, Krasnoyarsk regions, as well as in three districts of the Buryatia Region.