Firefighters tackling blazes engulfing Russia’s Khabarovsk Region
by Stanislav Ruottselainen

[TASS] Wildfire suppression units in the Khabarovsk Region are combating blazes encompassing over 5,800 hectares, the regional forestry committee told TASS Tuesday.

"The forest protection authorities registered 11 wildfires this week. Five blazes covering a total of 5,806 hectares (14,332.11 acres) are currently being extinguished. The operation involves 129 people and 41 vehicles," the committee said.

The largest wildfire, located in the Nikolayesky district, has engulfed over 5,500 hectares (13,590.8 acres) alone, and it has been localized.

Last week, smoke from the wildfires in Yakutia was recorded in the Khabarovsk Region. Currently, the wind change has dispersed the smoke.

The total wildfire area in the region is over 8,200 hectares (20,262.64 acres), including a 7-hectare fire in the Dzugdzhursky reserve. At present, there are some blazes that are out of reach and can’t be extinguished.

"Some wildfires are located in remote or hard-to-reach areas, and it is almost impossible to get there, let alone send vehicles. A special commission assesses the danger of such hotspots, and, if no threat is found, usually it won’t be tackled. Rather it will be allowed to burn out on its own naturally. Usually, such fires spark from thunderstorms in taiga. Currently, we have five such fires, with total area of 2,400 hectares (5,930.529 acres)," says Committee Forest Guard and Protection Division head Vladimir Letuta.

In order to prevent such blazes, 18 districts have imposed special anti-fire measures. The public has been barred from visiting the woods or working with fire.

Current weather conditions
The region has been experiencing an abnormal heatwave, with daytime temperatures rising 7 degrees above average for this period of the year, which ramps up the danger of wildfires occurring.

"Since the beginning of the spring, we have been conducting regular preventive raids in the forests, identifying those who violate the fire safety regulations. There are substantial fines for violating it. A person may face a fine of up to 7,000 rubles, while a company can be fined by up to 500,000 rubles. However, punishment is not the goal. The most important thing to note here is that any small fire can morph into a wildfire that destroys everything in its path. The situation in Yakutia is a shining example. Therefore, we urge our citizens to comply with the fire safety rules," Letuta stressed.

Since the beginning of the fire hazard period, the blazes swept across 147,000 hectares (363,244.911 acres). Last year, the total fire area in the region was 226,000 hectares (558,458.162 acres).
Posted by: badanov 2021-07-28