All forest fires extinguished in Russia Far East

KHABAROVSK, August 19 (Itar-Tass) — There are no forest fires at present in the Russian Far East. The five most recent outbreaks of fire, which had been registered in Yakutia, were extinguished on Thursday, the Forestry Department of the Far East Federal District told Itar-Tass on Friday.

However, a regional state of emergency introduced by the decree of the President of Yakutia on July 15 because of the large number of wildfires in the region is still in effect in 18 districts of the republic and the city of Yakutsk.

In connection with the start of the hunting and berry season, as well as continuing haymaking season in the territory of Yakutia, the Russian Emergency Situations Ministry’s (EMERCOM) main department for the republic has requested hunters and residents of rural areas to protect forests from fires and observe the basic fire safety rules in forestlands and reminded them that the emergency situation regime in forests is still in effect. Yakutia’s head Yegor Borisov said earlier that “only regular monitoring from the air may help prevent wildfires in the republic, with a territory of more than three million square metres.” A total of 60 million roubles have been allocated from the federal budget in 2011 to sponsor air survey in Yakutia, although the republic needs 350 million roubles for these purposes.

Since the beginning of the season the Far East has been affected by 1,718 fires, the fire swept over 900,000 hectares of land, including more than 718,000 hectares of forestland.

The region’s forest protection services are currently receiving new equipment. “More than 700 million roubles have been allocated for these purposes from the federal budget to the Far East Federal District, and an additional 50 million roubles have been provided from regional budgets. A total of 28 state contracts on the supply of 253 units of forest fire-fighting equipment have been concluded,” the Forestry Department said. Yakutia has already received 38 units of equipment, and the Khabarovsk Territory – 16 units.

On Wednesday, forest fires in the Russian Far East were continuing only in Yakutia. A total of four fires were registered there on that day – 136.5 hectares of forest and 68.6 hectares of non-forest areas were burning. There were no wildfires in other Russian Federation subjects in the east of the country, the Forestry Department of the Far Eastern Federal District told Itar-Tass. “Over the past day the forest protection service extinguished three fires at an area of 319 hectares,” the department said.

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