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MOSCOW, July 26 (Itar-Tass) —— There is no fire threat to residential areas in the Volgograd region, and the fire is confined, Natalia Zlobina from the Volgograd regional emergency situations department told Itar-Tass.
The fire is burning on no less than 20 hectares, and 199 people, including volunteers, are putting out the blaze. A fire train has arrived to help the fire fighting effort, she said.
The hot and dry weather and the high winds fanned the fire. “The wind has died out, so we hope for a happy ending,” she said. “The fire is being extinguished from several sides, from the town of Kamenny Buerak, from two dacha compounds and from the forest.”
The unauthorized burning of dry grass created a threat to the forest at 9:55 a.m. Moscow time on Tuesday, the source said. “Grass was burning on the area of ten hectares and the blaze spread onto 1.5 hectares of forest. The fire endangered the Luch dacha compound, which was 500 meters away, and the Rodnichok dacha compound, which was only 200 meters away from the fire zone,” the Emergency Situations Ministry source said.
Both dacha compounds and Kamenny Buerak were protected with a strip of ploughed land, but the fire turned crown because of high winds and endangered Kamenny Buerak with the population of 60 people, including 14 children. All of them were evacuated. As of 7:00 p.m. Moscow time, the town no longer faced the fire threat, the source said.
A total of 184 people are putting out fire together with 39 vehicles, a number of fire trains and a Mil Mi-8 fire fighting helicopter.
The Russian Emergency Situations Ministry has sent an Ilyushin Il-76 fire fighting plane to put out the crown fire in the Volgograd region.
“An Il-76 equipped with a 42-tonne fuel tank departed from the Ramenskoye airfield in the Moscow region for Volgograd at 7:28 p.m. local time,” a ministry representative said.
The Volgograd region was one of the Russian territories damaged by wildfires last summer.