Ministry reports eight-fold decline of wildfire areas in C Russia in 2011

MOSCOW, July 6 (Itar-Tass) —— This year’s wildfire situation in the Central Federal District is much better than in 2010, Chairman of the Emergencies Ministry’s Central Regional Department Alexander Kats said on Wednesday.

Last year, Central Russia was the country’s most devastated territory from large-scale wildfires, which were mainly caused by the severe drought and abnormally hot weather.

“In the current year, the situation is much better,” Kats said.

“In all, as many as 815 wildfires have appeared in the Central Federal District since the beginning of the 2011 fire season, which is 2.5 times smaller than in the same period last year,” he said, adding that the territories embraced by wildfires decreased by eight times in the current year.

“Over the past 24 hours, 28 new wildfires were registered in Central Russia, 27 of which were put out later,” the Emergencies Ministry high-ranking official said, adding, “As of the morning of Wednesday, four small fires were still ravaging, but their territories are insignificant.”

“One peat bog fire was registered in the Vladimir region,” Kats said, adding, “Three peat bog fires are raging on a total area of 0.6 hectares in the Moscow region – one of them is in the Orekhovo-Zuyevo district and two of them are in the Shatura district.”

“There is no threat to the population centre of the Moscow region,” he stressed.

Chairman of the Emergencies Ministry’s central regional department urged his regional counterparts to intensify the use of aircrafts, including unmanned vehicles, for the aerial control of the situation in the federal district.

He also confident that it is necessary to draw law enforcers to the patrolling of the territories, as 95-96 percent of peat bog fires are mainly caused by “the human factor.”

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