Efforts taken to prevent fire spread into residential areas in Volgograd region.

26/7 Tass 338

MOSCOW, July 26 (Itar-Tass) —— The Emergency Situations Ministry is working to prevent the wildfire spread into residential areas in the Volgograd and Rostov regions, a ministry source told Itar-Tass.

A Mil Mi-8 helicopter has dumped over 30 tonnes of water on the fire in the Volgograd region. An Ilyushin Il-76 fire fighting plane will join the operation soon, the source said.

“The fire fighting force is growing,” he noted.

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 regional emergency situations department noted that the fire threat remained in Kamenny Buerak.

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, the department 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.

The Volgograd region was one of the Russian territories damaged by wildfires last summer.

Wildfires have also broken out in the Rostov region. “A duty officer of the Emergency Situations Ministry was informed about the forest fire at 5:20 p.m. Moscow time. The towns of Lobachev and Kireyev is located five and nine kilometers away from the wildfire zone correspondingly,” the source said.

Residents of the Kireyev village were warned about the possible fire spread. A total of 180 people and 43 machines are engaged in the fire fighting operation.

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