MOSCOW, April 27. /TASS/. In the wake of devastating wildfires that raged in southern Siberia earlier this month, Russian President Vladimir Putin tasked the government with drafting a set of anti-wildfire measures which may include taking away land plots from owners who systematically disregard fire safety rules.
The relevant presidential decree was published on Russia’s official online database of legal information late on Friday.
"By July 1, 2019, the Government of the Russian Federation <...> must present in due order draft legislative acts aimed at <...> determining the process of taking away land plots for systematic violations of fire safety requirements," the decree reads.
In order to streamline the anti-wildfire effort, the Russian president also tasked the government with drafting documents that give the legal definition to the notions of "forest fires" and "wildfires" and to "determining zones of responsibility for various government agencies and firefighting services."
Among other things, the government was also tasked with drafting legislative acts intended to "determine the powers of state forest inspectors with regard to fire safety control on lands of agricultural use that are adjacent to forests."
Putin also designated the post-wildfire recovery in Russia’s southeastern Siberian Trans-Baikal region bordering China and Mongolia as a "state task of utmost importance." In line with the presidential decree, the Russian government and regional authorities are to submit their action plans by May 10.
The April 19-20 wildfires in the steppe-covered southern and southeastern districts of the Trans-Baikal Territory engulfed 17 settlements, destroying 99 houses and 148 auxiliary buildings, as well as 113 farms and agricultural equipment. Besides, the fire destroyed two grain storage facilities and killed over 5,600 heads of livestock. 36 people were injured, four of them are still in serious condition. The overall damage is estimated at more than 1 billion rubles.