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What violations can lead to the spread of forest fires? – Rossiyskaya Gazeta

Date: June 22, 2024 Time: 15:53:30

Andrei Alexandrovich, what is happening now in our forests? Where are the most fires?

Andrey Shorokhov: The fire season begins in the regions at different times. The most “burnt” are traditionally the Amur and Transbaikalia region, where, as a rule, there is little precipitation, strong winds, and the snow cover melts early. Now the situation is relatively stable. But in April-May, when it was already warmer, but there was still little rain, green grass did not appear, they experienced a restless period there.

Andrey Shorokhov: A clear task has been set to reduce the number of fires. Our work is aimed at its implementation. Photo: Press Service of the Environmental Prosecutor of the Amur Basin

A critical situation was observed in the JAO. In total, 110 fires have already been registered in more than 180 thousand hectares in the forest fund in the territory of autonomy. Of these, at least 100,000 hectares were on fire at the beginning of the fire risk period. There, we revealed many violations: the lack of the necessary equipment for extinguishing fires, non-compliance with the requirements for aviation patrols… Inaccurate information was indicated about the burned areas, etc.

One of the egregious examples – the fire was simply not extinguished and as a result moved to the territory of the Bastak federal nature reserve. On April 29, a four-hectare thermospot was discovered at a distance of 1.5 kilometers from Birobidzhan. On May 1, when the fire moved to the reserve, the burned area was already 900 hectares. It was possible to eliminate the fire only on May 9, when 22 thousand hectares were burning. Extinction expenses exceeded 30 million rubles.

Didn’t it really go extinct?

Andrei Shorokhov: Yes, it turned out during the audit. Inaction of authorized persons. Negligence. Now the prosecution has sent the relevant materials to the investigating authorities. Investigators are conducting a procedural check. By the way, since the beginning of the fire season, Rosprirodnadzor issued orders to eliminate violations in terms of forest protection to five large reserves of federal importance.

You mentioned that in some cases the EAO provided false information about fires. Is this data falsification?

Andrey Shorokhov: Forgery is probably a strong word. We are more inclined to believe that this was not done deliberately to gain some preferences or hide something. The point is an elementary failure in those responsible for extinguishing. There was an example when, when transmitting information to the dispatch service, they indicated an area, but in fact it was different, much larger. Well, suppose they turn over the data that fifty hectares are burning, but in reality there are already six hundred, seven hundred or a thousand. This did not make it possible to use the required number of forces to extinguish the fire, additional equipment was not involved. Could not call for help in other regions. But the consequences at the time were not as dire as they could be. Lands that were not covered with forest vegetation burned, Mari. As such, no damage was done to the forest floor.

Does this happen often?

Andrei Shorokhov: These are rather isolated cases. The control system is very rigid. The responsible person sends information to the regional dispatch service on a daily basis, which is then consolidated and summarized by the Federal Forestry Agency, authorized to verify the data. You can’t hide the area of ​​fire just like that. The whole world is following this – from the regional authorities themselves to Rosleskhoz and the prosecutor’s office.

Are there widespread violations?

Andrei Shorokhov: There are systematic ones, which, unfortunately, we identify every year. A decree of the government of the Russian Federation was issued, which established equipment standards depending on the “flammability” of the region. Set how much equipment should be, how much equipment, inventory, etc. But not everywhere the forest fire formations are staffed according to the standards. For example, in the Trans-Baikal Territory, this problem has existed for the last ten years. In addition, an important part of the forest firefighting equipment is 100% worn out in the region. It needs more time and cost to maintain it. Some necessary parts are no longer manufactured. In the Jewish Autonomous Region, we also filed a lawsuit demanding that fire units be equipped according to the standards. Judicial decision to execute. In the Amur region, part of the equipment this year was out of order. Similar violations were found in the Primorsky and Khabarovsk Territories.

In Trans-Baikal, Primorsky Territories and the Amur Region, forest fires were not extinguished at night. The prosecution filed lawsuits and changed the situation

The state is now paying a lot of attention to the protection of forests against fires. At the beginning of the year, about 2.5 billion rubles were allocated for activities in this area in the Amur basin regions. Over the past five years, equipment for extinguishing forest fires has been actively purchased. A clear objective has been set to reduce the number of fires. Our work is aimed at its implementation.

Is there already a positive trend in the response of prosecutors?

Andrey Shorokhov: I think so. I can give an example. We have identified a serious violation, which, by the way, occurred in many regions of Russia, not only in the Far East. In the Trans-Baikal Territory, the Amur Region and in other regions, forest fires were not extinguished overnight. If a house is on fire somewhere, firefighters don’t leave the place until the fire is completely out. Here, for some reason, work was stopped at night, although the rules clearly state: “The fire is extinguished from the moment it occurs until the moment of liquidation.” All. Exceptions are directly provided for by law: thunderstorms, fires in control zones, where, for example, there is no threat to settlements and the damage from a fire is less than the cost of extinguishing it, and others. And then the wildfire formations just went away, and the fire area began to grow many times overnight. And then it is very difficult to cope with the fire with already limited forces. We file lawsuits and force the authorities to provide fire extinguishing at night, to purchase lighting equipment.

Comprehensive measures contribute to the fact that the total number of fires is reduced. The readiness for them is now definitely higher than ever. As I said, the state is doing a lot: by allocating more money, it has decided to reduce the control zones in all regions. Stably, in almost 95 percent of cases, fire extinguishing is ensured on the first day. Reverse examples are rare, we respond quickly to them.

* This website provides news content gathered from various internet sources. It is crucial to understand that we are not responsible for the accuracy, completeness, or reliability of the information presented Read More

Hansen Taylor
Hansen Taylor
Hansen Taylor is a full-time editor for ePrimefeed covering sports and movie news.
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