5 May, 12:16

Wildfire area doubles in Siberia over holidays, over half of forest fires put out in Russia's Far East

Wildfire area doubles in Siberia over holidays, over half of forest fires put out in Russia's Far East

The Siberian Federal District saw 104 forest fires on an area of 140,471 hectares as of Monday morning, the local department of the Federal Forestry Agency (Rosleskhoz) said. More than half of 20 forest fires on an area of more than 5,000 hectares were put out in the Far Eastern Federal District over the past day, the forestry department in the federal district said on Monday.

Most fires, 32 on an area of 136,969 hectares, are burning in the Trans-Baikal territory. There are 36 fires on 2,866 hectares in the Irkutsk region, Interfax reports.

Forests are burning in the Republic of Altai (two fires on 80 hectares), the Krasnoyarsk territory (21 fires on 352 hectares), Tuva (three fires on 179 hectares), Buryatia (eight fires on 20.35 hectares), and in Khakassia (one fire on four hectares).

Thirty-four forest fires were confined to 46,119 hectares within the past 24 hours, among them 13 large fires burning on 45, 844 hectares - ten fires on 45,384 hectares in the Trans-Baikal territory and three on 460 hectares in the Irkutsk region.

Some 162 forest fires were put out on 32,682.2 hectares within the past 24 hours, including eight fires on 31,108 hectares in the Republic of Buryatia, the Irkutsk region and the Trans-Baikal territory.

Hence, the wildfire area in Siberia has more than doubled since April 30 when 88 forest fires were burning on 68,992 hectares.

A total of 1,829 foresters and smoke jumpers, 403 fire engines and 23 aircraft were putting out the flames. Most fires were caused by negligence of local residents and agricultural burnings.

A fire alert was announced in Chita and the Akshinsky, Baley and Kyrinsky districts in the Trans-Baikal territory, the Mukhorshibirsky district in Buryatia, the Kormilovka, Sargatskoye and Tyukalinsky districts in the Omsk region and throughout the Kemerovo and Irkutsk regions.

An emergency situation regime was put into place throughout the Trans-Baikal territory and Buryatia.

"In the morning on May 5 nine forest fires keep raging in the Far East, eight of them in Amur Region, one in Primorsky Territory. Twenty forest fires (12 in Amur Region, seven in Primorsky Territory and one fire in Khabarovsk Territory) have been burning in the district for the last day. The blaze has burnt down 5,367 hectares in the Far Eastern Federal District for the last day," the forestry department said, TASS reports.

As much as 4,448 hectares or around 83% of fire area fall on Amur Region.

As many as 518 people, 269 units of machinery, eight aircrafts, including four helicopters were involved in fire-fighting in the federal district.

From the start of the fire-prone season 1,483 forest fires broke out on an area of more than 303 thousand hectares on protected territories in the federal district. As many as 270 forest fires on an area of slightly more than 43,800 hectares were reported for the same period in 2013 in the federal district.

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