"Leaving the whole village": how the Far East fights against firesForest fire in the environs of Krasnoyarsk, April 21, 2011.

The Amur region suffers more than others from fires today, 1.3 million hectares burn here. For almost three weeks, the emergency regime has been in place in the region. According to Alexander Khloponin, “the regional authorities play with figures” and understate the area of ‚Äč‚Äčnatural fires.

According to the head of the Ministry of Natural Resources Sergei Donskoy, the figures are understated on average four times. Almost two weeks a fire rages in the Khingan Reserve, which is located in the extreme south-east of the Amur Region. It is extinguished from the ground and from the air.

“The place that has not burned for more than 15 years is burning,” Vadim Velichko, deputy head of the Amur air base, told reporters. – Litter is very large, coniferous, there grows cedar, and also mountainous terrain, over 600 meters. “

On Friday, April 27, it became known that due to a fire against officials of the directorate of the state nature reserve “Khingansky” a criminal case was instituted on the article “negligence”. Nevertheless, the fire was stopped.

“They were extinguishing a fire in the Khingansky Reserve, taking water was taken to the reservoir,” said Yury Uvarov, the commander of the crew of the plane taking part in extinguishing the fire. “We were in touch with ground fire brigades, they corrected us, coordinated, and clarified to us exactly where to discharge for more effective extinguishing. We dropped the water, went to the fence, at which time they came and extinguished this fire. “

Another region where forest fires occur at least twice a year – the Khabarovsk Territory, 156 thousand hectares are burning here today. In seven districts of the region a special fire-fighting regime was introduced. According to the inhabitant of Khabarovsk Anastasia Legalina, the authorities do not solve this problem very effectively.

Anastasia Legalin: I do not know how many years, we have twice a year, in the autumn and in the spring, the forests are burning and the dry grasses are planted. There is an opinion that supposedly, if the grass is set on fire in autumn, the land becomes more fertile. Official sources say that these are all kinds of summer residents and the like, but this theory does not always coincide with reality. Because our navigation is not yet open, that is, we can not reach the left bank, where these cottages are, and this is done in the Amur, but everything is already burning there. This smolder blows the wind on the city. The smoke, there is nothing to breathe, people are suffocating, pregnant women are shocked, worried about the health of future children, because we really have this problem very acute. There were years when this haze was not as it is now, in the autumn and in the spring for one and a half months, but a whole summer. There is even such a thing – “smoky children”, these are children who were born approximately at a time when the whole summer was fumes in the air. That is, children were born with all sorts of deviations, with vices, some were not born at all. The hypoxia of the fetus develops because the maximum permissible concentration of all these harmful substances is exceeded in the air. I took care of this in the fall, because my child was born recently, I was just pregnant in the autumn, and I was very worried about how this could affect the health of an unborn baby. We began to organize pickets, appeal to the supervisory authorities, the prosecutor’s office, the Ministry of Emergency Situations, the General Prosecutor’s Office. But the result is zero. These were unsubscribe. That is, in fact no one was punished, no one was fined. In general, no one answered for the fact that every year people put their health at risk.

RFI: How do you handle these hazards?

Anastasia Lehalina: My child was born on November 8 of that year, and I was hospitalized early for a week and a half in the perinatal center because I had an asthma exacerbation. If this problem is not solved for years, if the last five years we regularly breathe this twice a year for a month and a half, probably not all the measures that are possible are being taken. Probably, we need to deal with this problem more densely and not to allow people’s health to deteriorate because of this. The population leaves the Far East, and this is not the last reason why people leave the region.

According to Vadim Belda, a resident of the Nanaian national village of Jari, that in 150 km from Khabarovsk, arson in their land is carried out by those who are interested in cheap permits for cutting down trees.

Vadim Beldy: This year we burn more often, there is a threat to the village. Yesterday a fire broke out on the village, but local firefighters localized and killed (fire). And a little on the other side of the village, too, was a fire, but it was also processed.

What is the cause of the fires?

Vadim Beldy: Arson of dry grass. Everyone has different versions of why this is done. It seems to me, they just want to cut the forest closer to the village, it’s already a burner turns out, and make cheap permits.

Someone was caught on arson?

Vadim Beldy: No, this has not happened yet. Here, observations are needed directly rigid to control the movement of people. Now they can not be controlled? Many go to the forest, the wild garlic is harvested – now the wild goat has gone.

The so-called Great Ussuri island in Khabarovsk, along which the border with China runs, is the problem zone of the city. Many local residents left it after the flood of 2013, and those who stayed, are forced to exist without roads and many infrastructure elements. Fires here are extinguished by hand, not hoping for help from the Ministry of Emergency Situations, says local resident Love Suslov.

Love of Suslova: Strong were fires in early April, our village is cut off from the city. There are no roads, even the ice road was not in winter. We were left on the island without gas, without coal, in general, for survival. Despite this, we did not want to burn! We left the settlement, who with what could, because if the fire approaches the village, we will burn out. We have a lot of dilapidated old houses, cottages are many around the village, scary, of course, happened! They called the city, they asked the firefighters to leave. Firefighters responded, asked how to get to us. We told the road: that through Aspen River there is a bridge, on the bridge straight to the right turn, turn right and along the bank of the Cupid move in our direction. Then the road turns to the right, as if into the interior of the island. And here there must be at least a sprinkled road, which we ask, begging from the city administration. Because the island is a continuous swamp. And this poor fire engine, which was completely coming to our rescue, was bogged down in the snowdrift, so that they showed it on TV – one of its backs stuck out, we do not know what it was pulled out. Well? Had to own strength. The population is generally elderly. But, despite all this, all came out literally. And every year in the spring and autumn we burn.

And how do you cope?

Love Suslova: Well, at least once we have some help! MES-nicks caused, and those in general fellows, they say: but we have a daily work schedule, it will dawn, we will come to you. And earlier still so answered: here the bridge to you will construct, we will arrive. The last fire was on April 17-18, again this one fell. Again I called the fire department, they again asked how to get to us, I told them, and then they called me back: everything, I got lost, I do not know where to go next, there’s no road! The administration does not hear us. 64 people are registered in the village, lives more, there are unregistered. And this time six people came to the presidential elections. People do not want this power!

According to the Ministry of Natural Resources, Kommersant reports, “specialized forest fire equipment” in Russia is worn out by more than 80%. In addition, in the regions in 2018 the staff of specialized forestry institutions was reduced “due to the emerging economic conditions”.

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