The Ministry for Emergency Situations has hosted today a meeting of the Governmental Disaster Management and Fire Safety Commission chaired by Emergency Minister Vladimir Puchkov.
The Commission discussed preparedness of the SSDMS (Single State Disaster Management System) forces for the 2017 flood and wildfire seasons. Heads of the Federal Water Resources Agency and the Federal Forestry Agency made reports on the topic, while representatives of some regions prone to seasonal risks reported on the organization of flood and wildfire management.
Protecting communities, businesses and infrastructure during spring flooding and wildfire season is the most pressing need requiring coherent efforts of all SSDMS functional and territorial subsystems.
The forecast of spring and summer flood and wildfire situations requires that a protocol of cooperation between SSDMS control bodies with local economic sectors, businesses and NGOs should be revised, that communication and notification systems should be readied, as well as all forces and facilities involved on each level of response.
Deputy head of the Federal Forestry Agency Nikolai Krotov reported that federal wildfire response centers would be put into operation in 2017 giving an opportunity for efficient management of firefighting forces and facilities by such federal centers and providing a room for maneuver in yet non-critical situations. The requirements of the federal center will now be compulsory, raising responsibility of regional and local authorities and leaseholders for fire security and safety of forests. Members of federal centers are going to rationally and efficiently determine swaths of forests that are to be protected against fires. There are criteria for singling out protected areas of forests using different monitoring means.
The Commission made decisions to run unplanned field checks on preparedness of Russian regions to the fire season, and integrated exercises to practice response to wildfires, protection of communities, businesses and social infrastructure against forest fires and to rehears interregional maneuvering of forces and facilities intended to put out wildfires.
People using forests in Russian regions will be checked on preparedness to the 2017 wildfire season; specialized dispatcher services of regions will be readied to operate round the clock; joint interagency task forces involving concerned executive authorities will be working to prevent wildfires and breaches of forest fire safety rules. In addition, active fire propaganda will be in place including mounting banners and billboards, fire propaganda lessons in schools and daily notification of population via texting, radio, TV or other mass media on forest fire safety rules and administrative and criminal liability for their breach.
Mr. Puchkov noted that it was necessary to declare a total fire ban and a state of emergency in forests on time and to control their observance by state authorities and local governments, as well as that the local population should be informed on an active fire bans or state of emergencies, should observe the ban for burning dry grass in farmlands or making fires in fields. The Minister pointed out the importance of wildfire management efforts.
“I am asking all heads of Russian regions to finish fireproofing forests and other lands. We need a team prepared to respond to fires and put them out quickly,” Mr. Puchkov said and added that protection of communities and social infrastructure and preparedness of forces and facilities to the fire season require joint efforts of both federal and regional authorities.
“Regions actively develop space monitoring systems. Local governments must get all information. All regions are now completing forest fire suppression plans and I am asking the Ministry of Natural Resources, the Forestry Agency and all other services to check their feasibility,” the Minister said.
The Minister also noted the necessity to control fire safety in areas of different categories. In some regions the number of thermal spots has been reduced several times over the past 3 years. “We have to have efficient cooperation. Mutual help and support should be provided independent of the category of the area. The one who is closer is the first to respond to fires and protect communities and social infrastructure,” the Minister said.
Discussing preparedness to the flood season, acting head of the Federal Water Resources Agency Vadim Nikanorov said that regional and facility levels of functional subsystem for flood control and safety of hydraulic facilities within jurisdiction of the Federal Water Resources Agency and round-the-clock duty of water pool departments were to be declared from 1 March and until further notice.
During spring floods the regional executive authorities and Emergency Ministry’s territorial bodies will get information on the actual and expected state of waterways, possible flooding of settlements and businesses and a threat to safety of the public. Temporary hydrological stations will be opened in a pre-flood season to monitor the situation. Tighter control will be set over preparedness of water treatment facilities and sewers and over the storage of fertilizers and agrochemicals.
Vladlen Aksyonov, Deputy Minister for Emergency Situations made a report on the concept of developing special divisions of the federal fire service. He said that reorganization of regional specialized fire and rescue units of the federal fire service into airmobile teams of fire and rescue garrisons started last year would be finished in the first half of 2017. According to him this will allow for quick transportation of mobile units to any regions for dealing with large disasters and to protect communities against large wildfires.
One of the points on the agenda of the meeting was steps done to implement The Basics of the RF State Policy on Civil Defense until 2030. Deputy Minister for Emergency Situations Pavel Baryshev made a report on the topic. Implementation of the State Policy Basics will allow building legal and technical frameworks in the area of civil defense, improving management of civil defense and developing the National Crisis Management Center based on the state management system. The concept has a special focus on improvement of cooperation between federal and regional executive authorities, local governments and organizations in solving tasks of civil defense.
The Commission also discussed the draft state report on the state of protection of people and territories against natural and man-caused emergency situations in 2016.
Emergency Ministry hosts meeting of Governmental Commission led by Vladimir Puchkov