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The moon over Baikal glittered in different way, like you are looking at sable fur

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Ian Frazier, 2013

'It's like war' - as wildfires rage across Siberia and the Russian Far East

By Olga Gertcyk
02 May 2017

One man's carelessness causes 'fire tornado' which destroys 59 houses, another avoidable blaze razes 17 homes, as state of emergency called.

Wildfires rage across Siberia and the Russian Far East. Picture: Vesti Rossiya 

A man burning rubbish in his yard destroyed 59 houses in the village of Bubnovka, Irkutsk region, after a strong wind led to his fire getting out of control. Local residents complained of a lack of emergency supplies after losing their homes in the carnage. 

'There are about 200 people left in the village,' said a local resident.

'We're not seeing a lot of food for the second day - some cookies and grain was handed out yesterday.' 

Another man, from Slyudyanka, also burning rubbish in his yard, destroyed his own house. 

In this case, firefighters prevented it spreading to other homes.

Wildfire apocalypse Siberia


Wildfire apocalypse Siberia


Wildfire apocalypse Siberia


Wildfire apocalypse Siberia
'It was like war, but worse.' Pictures: Vesti Rossiya, Channel 1


Mikhail Osipov, head of Slyudyanka fire station, said: 'The remaining dry grass caught fire, then fire spread to the man's house.

'Because of strong wind, fire spread in a moment, destroying his house, some buildings nearby, then engulfing the forest.'

In Buryatia, a fisherman threw out burning ashes, and the resulting blaze - again fuelled by strong win - burned down 17 houses. 

It took 91 firefighter and 22 fire engines to extinguish the blaze.

A local woman said of the scary scene: 'We saw that grass was burning and it was moving towards the village. We were not at first frightened, as the same happened two years ago. Then, there was no wind  and we extinguished it  - this time everything started burning so quickly. 

'All burned down in a moment, everything.

'For about an hour the whole place was just burning, firefighters didn't know what to do.  

'It was like war - but worse. 

'Now we have nothing left, nowhere to go.'

Wildfire apocalypse Siberia


Wildfire apocalypse Siberia


Wildfire apocalypse Siberia


Wildfire apocalypse Siberia


Wildfire apocalypse Siberia


Wildfire apocalypse Siberia


Wildfire apocalypse Siberia
Some 130 air firefighters were helping to extinguish wildfires in TransBaikal region; 27 air firefighters were fighting wildfires in Tunkinsky national park in Buryatia. Pictures: Channel 1, Vesti Rossiya 


A local man told the media he had managed to save his own home, but he was an exception.

'No one is injured but many lost homes,' he said. 'The first fire engine arrived in 30-40 minutes after the fire began.' 

A state of emergency concerning wildfires was called across the Siberian Federal District.

Some 189 wildfires across 10,331 hectares had been extinguished by 30 April. 

Some 3,730 emergency personnel, 951 ground vehicles and 10 aircrafts were involved in extinguishing fires. 

Wildfire apocalypse Siberia


Wildfire apocalypse Siberia


Wildfire apocalypse Siberia
Some 3,730 emergency personnel, 951 ground vehicles and 10 aircrafts were involved in extinguishing fires. Pictures: Channel 1, Vesti Rossiya 


As of 1 May, these raging fires had been extinguished, but many more were still burning.

- 18 wildfires across 7,111 hectares in Transbaikal region

- 6 wildfires across 4,356 hectares in Irkutsk region, one in a specially protected natural area, Zapovednoe Pribaikalie, across 110 hectares

- 12 wildfires across 2,535 hectares in Buryatia, one in a specially protected natural area, Tunkinsky national park, home to snow leopards and reindeer, across 271 hectares

- 1 wildfire across 702 hectares in Tuva

- 4 wildfires across 319 hectares in Krasnoyarsk region

- 2 wildfires across 188 hectares in Amur region

- 1 wildfire across 11 hectares in Primorsky region

- 2 wildfire across 4 hectares in Sverdlovsk region

Some 130 air firefighters were helping to extinguish wildfires in TransBaikal region; 27 air firefighters were fighting wildfires in Tunkinsky national park in Buryatia.

Comments (6)

'One day the Russian gas and oil lobby and the government will wake up to the fact that 'Global warming' means more than just business,and that likely many Russians will die because of it as well!'
Ian Foote, Sydney
10/05/2017 12:49
0
2
They have plenty of sense, muscovy... The siberians wore out of a leadership in Moscow who is more interested in the optional wars overseas instead of the wars of nessicity back home(huge fires everywhere). Because the government at the top (Putin etc) did not take it right seriously.. Oh sure the government owes new housing. That's the very least for not making sure old housing was protected from fire. Siberians grow weary of this.. And they have good leaders that can challenge how things have been in Kremlin.
Charles, United States
08/05/2017 01:31
2
1
Obrigada Natercio for your compassionate comment, I hope the situation for everyone in Brasil will improve. I have had the wonderful honour of working in your beautiful country. I do share the same frustration as William and Benedikt regarding people taking accountability for common sense actions fully in their own control. Here in the US, we struggle with a culture that is wanting everything but responsible for nothing. I hope people will please stop lighting fires in Russia when they do know full well the extreme danger they are causing to their communities.
Pamela Tetarenko, League City, USA
04/05/2017 21:45
1
0
It is sad that people do not learn. DO NOT PLAY WITH FIRE. They should have a heavy fine.
William McLean, Copenhagen, Denmark
04/05/2017 18:52
6
1
Incendios ocorrem no mundo inteiro e o governo precisa e deve ajudar os moradores dessa região para que eles possam reconstruir e recuperar suas moradias e viver com dignidade.
Natercio Silva, Guaratuba - Brazil
04/05/2017 10:57
0
0
people have no brains and common sense left. but now of course they demand that the government builds them now homes. for free....
Benedikt MORAK, Moscow
02/05/2017 16:03
9
6
1

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