All news

Forest fires affect more than 7 million hectares in Yakutia — forestry agency chief

According to Ivan Sovetnikov, forest fires have swept 2-3% of Yakutia’s forests

MOSCOW, August 13. /TASS/. Forest fires have affected an area of more than 7 million hectares in Yakutia, the chief of the federal agency for forestry Rosleskhoz, Ivan Sovetnikov, said on Russia’s Channel 1.

"This year the forest fires have swept a total area of 7 million hectares in Yakutia alone. On the one hand, this sounds terrible: 7 million hectares. But one should remember two things. Yakutia’s forests take up an area of 260 million hectares. In other words, about 2-3%. On the other hand, this is the area that the fire has travelled across. Most of it was affected by quick surface fires, which burned the surface litter, duff and shrubs. The larches, the most widely-spread type of trees in Yakutia, survive," he said.

Sovetnikov stressed that instead of the dead trees new ones would be planted.

"Each year we survey the area, sweep dead wood and plant new trees," he said.

Yakutia is one of Russia’s high-risk fire zones. Local residents are prohibited from visiting forests starting from July 1. On August 8 a regional emergency situation was declared as forest fires approached communities and economic facilities.