Russia’s Siberia region hit by wildfires

July 30th, 2012 - 10:43 am ICT by IANS  

Moscow, July 30 (IANS/RIA Novosti) Forest fires continue to rage in Russia’s Siberia region on a total area of over 230 square km, with the worst of the blazes concentrated in Tomsk region, the central emergencies ministry said.

“In total, there are 143 wildfires in the Siberian federal district on a total area of about 23,300 hectares, of which 33 fires have been localised on an area of 6,200 hectares,” the ministry said.

Most of the fires are raging in Tomsk on an area of 99 square km.

Measures taken by firefighting teams, aviation and anti-fire technologies have helped prevent the spread of the wildfires raging at a distance of five km from populated areas and economic facilities in Siberia, the ministry said.

The ministry has started using four BE-200 amphibious planes, three Ilyushin Il-76 transport planes, three Mi-8 helicopters with water discharging devices and one Mi-26 to fight forest fires in Tomsk.

These aircraft have dumped over 1,200 tonnes of water on forest areas hit by fires.

Over 6,200 personnel, including 1,100 firefighters and 411 volunteers, are engaged in the fire-fighting effort.

–IANS/RIA Novosti

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