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The destruction wrought by wildfires around Lake Baikal leaves physical - and emotional - scars

By The Siberian Times reporter
27 August 2015

Russians grieving over damage to magical forests surrounding Siberia's jewel.

After the flames, we can now see all too clearly the desecration of pristine forests rising above Baikal. Picture: Anna Baskakova

Recent weeks have seen shocking fires around the world's oldest and deepest lake, home to 20% of the world's unfrozen freshwater. And after the flames, we can now see all too clearly the desecration of pristine forests rising above Baikal.

Pictures of the fast-spreading fires that we highlight here were taken by Anna Baskakova, posted on 16 August.

Those of the sad aftermath, the evidence of the ruination of the lake's hinterland, are from Oksana Gromyko, who wrote: 'We returned to Peschanaya (Sandy) Bay on 24 and 25 August.

'Earlier we had to be evacuated from the bay on 9 August. I felt I just had to get back. 'I do not comment myself and I'm not asking anyone to express their opinion. 

Baikal on fire


Baikal on fire


Baikal on fire

Pictures of the fast-spreading fires that we highlight here were taken by Anna Baskakova, posted on 16 August.

'I just want to remind that the fire began at the end of June. Huge thanks to Nikolay, director of 'Peschanaya' tourist base, and all his team who decided to stay and fight (the flames) - and won against the inferno, managing to save metres and metres of green forest. 

'And a big 'no thanks' to people who - despite constant calls and begging for help - allowed this catastrophe to happen. There was a chance to prevent it, because the fire took a long time to get so strong.'

She captioned her pictures reflecting the distraught feelings of many Russians who love this lake: 'Sinichka Bay looks like a valley of hot springs, with the earth burning to the touch, and open fires all around.

Baikal on fire


Baikal on fire


Baikal on fire


Baikal on fire


Baikal on fire


Baikal on fire


Baikal on fire

'Babushka Bay with the shore covered in charcoal and black and yellow mountains, covered in smoke. This road to the viewing point rock reminds of a horror film. Fire traces as far as you can see on the horizon. This is where I sat for hours, enjoying view of endless green carpet'. Pictures: Oksana Gromyko

'They tried to stop fire with all they could, but there was no chance to get it done without special equipment.' 

'Babushka Bay with the shore covered in charcoal and black and yellow mountains, covered in smoke. This road to the viewing point rock reminds of a horror film. Fire traces as far as you can see on the horizon. This is where I sat for hours, enjoying view of endless green carpet'.

We also do not comment. 

Comments (2)

With the existing technology available both in developed and underdeveloped countries, it is time consuming and very hard to extinguish wildfires, esp. in large scale wildfires. We should invent new technologies and new kinds of forecasting as well as early public awareness processes. In many cases it is seen that the public do not respond timely or even if they do, they don't have the proper training or equipment to fight these fires. I would like to suggest the developed nations, esp. Russia to invent and develop some kind of satellite controlled technology to extinguish large scale fires in a very short time. We have seen Russian capability in Space Science and how they brought 'daylight' on a vast region when it was night. They can try using satellites in some way to stop wildfires rapidly. Hoping to see updates in this field of research.
erailed, Bangladesh, Paharika Housing Society, Chittagong University Adjacent Area.
04/09/2015 04:01
2
0
Thanks so much for sharing these photos and the deep grief. In New Mexico we are also fearful for the Forests around us. When They burn, it is an almost unbearable tragedy. But the Trees around Lake Baikal are the Grandparents of all of the Forests in the Northern Hemisphere. I feel very sad for all of you. And for the Earth.
Kathairein Greer, Santa Fe, NM, USA
02/09/2015 20:52
2
0
1

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