The wildfire situation in Russia remains very serious with the impact already exceeding last year’s, said Alexander Kozlov, Minister of Natural Resources and Ecology.
“In 2021, the areas engulfed by wildfires increased by 1.2 times to 7.8 million hectares despite fewer fires compared with wildfire season 2020, ” Kozlov said. According to RIA Novosti, 33 wildfires on an area of 254,105 ha were extinguished in Russia over the past 24 hours. The Avialesokhrana wildfire monitoring service recorded 196 fire outbreaks on an area of 1,572,967 ha by August 10 midnight, including 111 in Yakutia on an area of 1,417,718 ha. The Republic declared a state of emergency.
Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered Minister of Civil Defense, Emergencies and Disaster Relief Yevgeny Zinichev to boost Yakutia’s firefighting taskforce. The regional administration is expected to come up with proposals for more support to wildfire victims. Putin also called for increasing the number of airborne firefighting missions in this region.
A smoke cloud from forest fires in Yakutia has spread to Khakassia and northeastern regions of Kazakhstan. On August 9-10, an excess of the maximum permissible concentration in the air was recorded for nitrogen dioxide in Ust-Kamenogorsk and Semey in East Kazakhstan Region.
According to Interfax, volunteers of the White Bim Fund for Animal Welfare, the Help to Survive movement, employees of the Zoopolis mini-zoo, as well as and animal rights activists, helped animals harmed by fire in one of the settlements in Yakutia's Mountain District, where over 30 houses burnt down on Saturday.
Earlier, the so-called “black-sky” regime was introduced for three days in Krasnoyarsk due to the smoke from forest fires in Yakutia. Bad weather alert will remain in effect in the regional center until 5 p.m., August 10. The environmental prosecutor's office is monitoring the enterprises which have to reduce emissions during the crisis. Krasnoyarsk airport delayed several flights because of the smog produced by wildfires in Yakutia.
Environmental inspectors and a mobile laboratory patrol Krasnoyarsk streets round-the-clock to identify unauthorized sources of air pollution. According to Vladimir Putin's instructions, the Russian government will tap the reserve fund by September 1 to allocate more money for fire-fighting efforts.
Wildfires are currently a major problem in Russia, Turkey, Italy, Greece, Montenegro, as well as the USA (California) where the search is ongoing for eight people who went missing during a wildfire.