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Prime Minister rages at emergencies' supremo over fires in Siberia

By The Siberian Times reporter
15 August 2015

Forest infernos will be extinguished by the weekend, pledges government, as wildfires become political issue in Moscow.

Emergencies Minister told journalists that all wildfires would be extinguished in two and a half days. Picture: Alexander Lesnyansky

This week The Siberian Times highlighted the serious fires destroying pristine forests especially in the vicinity of Lake Baikal, the world's oldest and deepest lake. Ash from out-of-control wildfires spread onto its waters, covering tourists swimming in the region's greatest tourist attraction, but this was only one of many areas hit by the fires. 

Pictures show flames spreading through forests in the region, and planes battling to extinguish the blazes. 

Russian premier Dmitry Medvedev vented his anger at the failure of the authorities to deal with the crisis. During a report by Emergencies' Minister Vladimir Puchkov he repeatedly interrupted the senior official demanding: 'What is being done in Siberia?'

More than 100 fires are burning on an area of almost 150,000 hectares in Siberia, according to official figures, which critics say often underestimate the problem. 

Forest infernos will be extinguished by the weekend, pledges government, as wildfires become political issue in Moscow.
Russian PM accused authorities responsible for battling fires of complacency over a problem which occurs annually. Picture: NASA


Medvedev, who previously served as Russian president, ordered Puchkov to fly to Siberia immediately after the government meeting to take personal charge of the fire fight. 'Fly there to deal with this,' he ordered in a televised dressing down of the official. 'Everything needs to be done so that fires are put out there, using both yours and Defence Ministry resources.'

He accused the authorities responsible for battling fires of complacency over a problem which occurs annually. 

'Unfortunately, as usual in August we have a sufficient number of problems. The situation this year is really hot when it comes to fires,' said Medvedev. 'This week with fires fought in Yakutia, near Gelendzhik in the Krasnodar region. 

'Now in Siberia and the Far East large wildfires are blazing. Most difficult is the situation in the republics of Buryatia, Tyva, in the Irkutsk region, the TransBaikal region and the Chukotka Autonomous District.'

Forest infernos will be extinguished by the weekend, pledges government, as wildfires become political issue in Moscow.
Medvedev repeatedly interrupted Emergencies Minister, demanding:  'I asked you to talk about what is done in Siberia, so people can hear about it. Please report about this, not on the system solutions to be adopted.' Picture: Vesti.ru


While there was 'no threat to settlements' he warned that 'people are naturally alarmed and turn to the local authorities, and regional authorities, and to the government'. Many towns and cities, among them the capital of Buryatia, Ulan-Ude, have been engulfed in smoke.

Medvedev asked angrily: 'Additional forces, equipment and firefighters were sent to Siberia. Totally 7,500 people are involved in the protection of settlements in Siberia and the Far East from wildfires, and nearly 2,000 pieces of equipment.

'But in this context, I have a question that naturally applies to the Ministry of Emergency Situations (MOE)... why has all this has not been done before, while the scope of the disaster had not reached such proportions? And generally why is this happening?'

He demanded: 'Every year unique forests burn over large areas, in nature reserves, national parks, and at the same time, unfortunately, tragedies happen, people die.

'Work on the prevention of forest fires through the Federal Forest Agency, regional authorities, local authorities, finally, the MOE, is very far from effective.'

He accused officials of 'blithely' turning a blind eye to the destruction of forests. 

Forest infernos will be extinguished by the weekend, pledges government, as wildfires become political issue in Moscow.
Emergencies Minister told journalists that all wildfires would be extinguished in two and a half days. Picture: Alexander Lesnyansky


Puchkov insisted that he would have the fires under control in Siberia in three days - by the end of the weekend. But Medvedev repeatedly interrupted him, demanding:  'I asked you to talk about what is done in Siberia, so people can hear about it. They write to me, to the government. Please report about this, not on the system solutions to be adopted.'

By Friday, the minister for emergencies was in Irkutsk, capital of the worst-hit areas. He responded by turning his anger on local officials over the failures to fight the fires. 'How do you could allow wildfires in the protected forests? How did you let it reach  such a state? Each tree is a value for Russia and the Irkutsk region. You are obliged to provide cover, there was a clear weather forecast," he declared.

In Krasnoyarsk the same day he was told that his ministry's air force had  dropped more than 11,000 tonnes of water on wildfires in Siberia. 

He demanded a better use of date from satellites to fight the fires. 

He ordered the ministry's National Crisis Management Center to 'promptly transfer all space monitoring data to the heads of municipalities and senior officials responsible for battling the fires at the local level'.

Forest infernos will be extinguished by the weekend, pledges government, as wildfires become political issue in Moscow.
1,000 additional firefighters to join the battle within 24 hours, and a further 2,000 in two days. Picture: Vesti.ru 


Puchkov's officials said on Friday that 107 fires are 'raging in the Siberian Federal District. They cover an area of 149,000 hectares. Of them, 48 fires have been contained. Thirty-four fires on an area of over 7,000 hectares have been extinguished.' Other figures suggested there were 128 fires burning across Siberia. 

Four regions have declared states of emergency, said Vladimir Svetelsky, the Siberian region's emergencies chief. He claimed that the situation 'is under control' even though fires are burning close to settlements with populations of more than 3,000.

Puchkov told journalists in Krasnoyarsk that all wildfires would be extinguished in two and a half days. 

'We have got the situation under strict control. All fires raging as of 13 August will be put out,' he said. 'It is important to implement strict control, to impose restrictions and pinpoint violations, since the cause of the fires is first of all the human factor.'

He ordered 1,000 additional firefighters to join the battle within 24 hours, and a further 2,000 in two days. 

Additional aircraft and helicopters with special equipment will also be sent to worst-hit regions, he said. 

Comments (2)

There is a fraudulent conspiracy being perpetrated on the gullible.

Read the science.

Who is responsible for misinformation? Ask the Heartland Institute and Exxon Mobil.
Ron Short, United Kingdom
16/08/2015 18:04
3
3
Local Authority should be informed again that: those wildfires are all started by the extremist Warmist cult. They are promoting the phony global warming, by imposing misery and destruction to gullible people:: https://globalwarmingdenier.wordpress.com/global-warming-lost-its-compass-again/
https://globalwarmingdenier.wordpress.com/venus-runaway-greenhouse-con/
https://globalwarmingdenier.wordpress.com/
stefanthgedenier, Qld / Australia
15/08/2015 11:10
0
9
1

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