Forest fires in Russia: “a great disaster”

Forest fires in Russia: "a great disaster"

Status: 08/07/2021 5:32 PM.

Russia’s forests have been burning for weeks. Authorities have currently counted more than 250 fires, affecting three million hectares. In many cases, even removal is not attempted. Environmentalists are calling for a legal counterclaim.

The situation in Russia is becoming increasingly dramatic. According to officials, more than 250 fires have engulfed the region, with a total area of ​​more than three million hectares in the world’s largest country. The Forest Conservation Authority said extinguishing work is underway with 180 fires covering an area of ​​about 1.3 million hectares. Other fires in poorly accessible areas would not be extinguished as there was no danger to people.

Homes and fuel stores in danger

The Siberian region of Yakutia in north-eastern Russia is particularly hard hit. There and seven other areas currently have a state of emergency. In Yakutia in the village of Bajas-Kazuel, more than 30 houses burned down. “This is a great disaster,” said the head of the republic, Ajsen Nikolaev. The people of the area have been evacuated safely. According to officials, the fire is spreading rapidly due to strong wind. Several areas are at risk, including the settlement of Sengar, which also has oil reserves.

The state agency Tass reported that about 400 cities in the Siberian Krasnoyarsk Territory were engulfed in smoke. In the Republic of Mordovia, hundreds of emergency services fought against a major fire in a nature park. According to officials, there were over 6,700 assistants across the country.

Millions of hectares of forest burnt

Russia is at risk of the biggest wildfire disaster of the century. Record temperatures have been repeatedly recorded in recent years. At the same time, fire safety guidelines are being disregarded more and more. According to experts, the 2007 decision to disband an authority monitoring the vast area from the air also contributed to the fire. Now the regional governments are responsible for this.

Environmental organization Greenpeace has listed 14.3 million hectares of burned area for the country since the beginning of the year. The negative record of the century was in 2012 with an area of ​​16 million hectares destroyed by fire.

Climate change and very few protective measures

“It is related to increasing climate change. The season of wildfire risk is getting longer, droughts are more frequent, last longer and more intense,” said Alexeis Yaroshenko, a Greenpeace forest expert. He criticized the lack of laws, funds and personnel to protect the forest.

Greenpeace submitted a list of measures to reduce the fires in Moscow to the government. For example, more forest dwellers and volunteers have to be deployed and citizens should be educated about fire safety. Environmentalists repeatedly complain that many fires are caused by humans. According to it, many Russians lit campfires in dry forests and then often left them, despite warnings of the danger of wildfire.

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