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'That time Barnaul was undoubtedly the most cultural corner of Siberia. I named it Siberian Athens'
Pyotr Tyan-Shanskiy, 1856

Black skies over Siberia as wildfires rage around the world’s oldest lake

By The Siberian Times reporter
10 May 2019

Cries to urgently call state of emergency in Irkutsk region as it chokes in smoke.

Forty five forest fires are currently active around Irkutsk; twenty were extinguished overnight according to the local officials.  Picture: Svodka38

Federal and local routes are disrupted, residents complain they fear getting burned alive while driving through the blazing taiga near to Lake Baikal. 

Thousands of firefighters and volunteers are out in woodland in the Irkutsk and the Trans-Baikal regions of Eastern Siberia, desperately seeking to extinguish the infernos. 

Russian Consumer rights watchdog RosPotrebNadzor issued a warning to the locals, calling on them to keep windows shut at all times, to wear damp masks and drink a lot of water. 

Wildfires around Irkutsk


Wildfires around Irkutsk


Wildfires around Irkutsk


Wildfires around Irkutsk


Wildfires around Irkutsk


Wildfires around Irkutsk


Volunteer


Volunteer

Thousands of firefighters and volunteers are out in woodland in the Irkutsk and the Trans-Baikal regions of Eastern Siberia, desperately seeking to extinguish the infernos.

Officials of the Irkutsk region limited access to forests on most of its territory to everyone but fire brigades. 

‘I was rushed to hospital with acute asthma attack after spending evening outdoors’, said an angry resident from Ulan-Ude, the largest city in the Republic of Buryatia. 

‘As you go out everything is colour grey, the sun and blue sky are blanketed out by smoke.’


‘Its impossible to breathe, woods all around us are burning, villages are burning, people are sure to lose houses again! I only wish that they survive!! Shop attendants in the city wear masks, this is awful’, wrote Inna Shishkina from Irkutsk. 

Forty five forest fires are currently active around Irkutsk; twenty were extinguished overnight according to the local officials.  

Wildfires around Irkutsk


Fire approaches to a village


Fire along the motor road


Fire approaches to a village


Fire approaches to a village


Village Bokhum

Federal and local routes are disrupted, residents complain they fear getting burned alive while driving through the blazing taiga near to Lake Baikal. 

The state of emergency hasn’t been called in all of the Irkutsk region yet, despite the area of wildfires growing twofold to 18,000 hectares in the last two days.  

Some of the fires were caused by extremely dry and windy weather, yet most of them started because the so-called ‘spring burns’ went wrong. 

These are the controlled burns of old grass, that are supposed to put nutrients back into the soil and revitalize the land. 

The Ministry of Emergencies for Irkutsk region will be seeking help from the phone companies to get locations of everyone who was either in, or close to epicentres of every wildfire in an attempt to bring people to justice.

Comments (3)

We are thinking our smokey skies in Seattle are the result of the wildfires in Siberia. May you find renewed strength and hope knowing your sorrow and loss is shared by many who have experienced so many devastating wildfires around the world these past years. We hope your valiant effort to contain the blazes is successful. Keep yourselves safe!
Shelley, Seattle, Washington USA
30/05/2019 01:20
1
0
I am very sad for Siberia. These fires are scaring and i support all the people who do their best to contain this.
I share your pain et your sorrow with all my heart.
Charles Doron, Lyon, France
22/05/2019 04:30
1
0
It's awful how much Siberia and Trans Baikal area has suffered about the wildfires this spring!
Leiah Sariell, Lapland Finland
15/05/2019 22:31
4
0
1

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