Head of the Federal Forestry Agency: "Where there's smoke there's fire"
Problem of forest fires in the Irkutsk region is associated with insufficient financial support to extinguish them, as well as inadequate decisions and actions at the regional level, according to statement made by Presidential Council for Human Rights. The Council said that sanitary logging is sometimes turned into commercial ones, and forest restoration in the region is not carried out at a sufficient level. However, yesterday governor of the Irkutsk Region Sergey Levchenko said that he didn't receive information from inspecting and supervising authorities about concealment and distortion of data on forest fires.
Meanwhile, economic damage from forest fires since the beginning of 2019 amounted to about seven billion rubles, Mikhail Klinov, acting head of the Federal Forestry Agency, said.
"Spring phase of the fire hazard season begins in winter, immediately after the New Year. During spring season, the main cause of fires is dried up green of various categories. Fortunately, this spring season has passed without critical consequences: forest fires didn’t threaten anything and didn’t harm the economy or places where people live," head of the Federal Agency said. "Summer season was pretty quite at first, but during the first half of July we began to fight against forest fires. Weather conditions in three subjects of the Russian Federation (Krasnoyarsk Territory, Irkutsk Region and the Republic of Sakha Yakutia) lead to a very long dry hot period, when there was practically no rainfall, and temperatures were five degrees higher than climatic norm. Dry thunderstorms occurred in remote, inaccessible territories. All of this led to huge number of fires. These fires began to spread very quickly due to dry, hot weather. As a result we were forced to introduce emergency measures."
According to Mikhail Klinov, today the area of fires in the Irkutsk Region has reached 1.4 million hectares; 2.2 ha in the Krasnoyarsk Territory, and 2.5 ha in the Republic of Sakha Yakutia. In a number of settlements, even in large cities of the Russian Federation, smoke occurred due to unusual wind. It's clear that where there's smoke, there's fire, and population of the Russian Federation was very concerned. Mass appeals to the President and the Government of the Russian Federation, the Ministry of Natural Resources and Ecology, and the Federal Forestry Agency were made.