Minister for Emergency Situations Vladimir Puchkov has held today a teleconference at the Emergency Ministry’s National Crisis Management Center to discuss additional steps to be taken to prevent wildfires and spread of flames on residential buildings.
“All employees of the inspectorate should work “in the field” from 30 April to 10 May. Send them to gardening societies, summer cottages, remote settlements, gather residents and involve heads of settlements,” Mr. Puchkov instructed.
Hot and dry weather has already settled in many regions. “Burning dry vegetation has to be strictly prohibited in accordance with norms. There should not be any agricultural burning. Fine those who violate the rules. Because of one such citizen or worker, dozens and hundreds of others will suffer, which is absolutely unacceptable,” the Minister said.
Director of the Inspecting Department – Chief State Fire Inspector of the Russian Federation Rina Yenikeyev said that preventive checks were underway in public buildings and settlements prone to forest fires, as well as in gardening societies.
“Since the beginning of the wildfire season, inspectorates of the Emergency Ministry have revealed and prevented more than 11 thousand uncontrolled fires of dry vegetation during 5.5 thousand interagency raids and 11 thousand calls on scenes,” Mr. Yenikeyev said and added that 88 bodies of local governments, over 400 officials and over 3 thousand citizens were fined for those violations. “We were bound to fine them as their actions threatened people and nearby territories.”
The Emergency Minister advised that total fire ban should be announced during holidays in all regions of Siberia and Far East.
“We recommend announcing a total fire ban and where necessary state of emergency in all regions of Siberia and Far East for the time of holidays and intensifying preventive work,” he said. “Check all fire suppression plans in the worst-hit regions. Our priority is protection of settlements, social infrastructure, power supply facilities and businesses against fire.”
Addressing to heads of Russian regions, Mr. Puchkov stressed that the Russian Emergency Ministry was ready to deploy heavy aircraft to put out fires. “We have long holidays coming. I am once more asking all the executors to explain fire safety to the population, check preparedness of the whole preventive work system in summer cottages and other areas, including places where people like to have holidays,” the Minister said.
Since the beginning of the wildfire season, the ground and aerial teams have prevented fires from spreading to 11 settlements populated by over 30,400 people. 6 aircraft owned by the Emergency Ministry have been deployed to put out blazes in Maritime and Transbaikalian Territories, Amur Region which are experiencing the most troubles now.