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Beware smoke: forest fires pose terrifying traffic hazard in Siberia

By The Siberian Times reporter
20 May 2016

Pictures show how drivers face deadly threat from summer fire 'hell' as fuel truck went at top speed to avoid killer spark.

'It was like hell. A terrible feeling.' Picture here and below: Yury Cherepanov

This is the unnerving scene on a highway linking the city of Chita with Khabarovsk and Vladivostok in the Far East of Russia. Seasonal fires are raging, posing an acute threat to motorists. 

Eyewitness Valeria told local Zab TV: 'Cars were stopping. The oncoming traffic was not visible at all. We tried to drive very slowly. Then we saw a fuel truck. It rushed through this hell at full speed, with the knowledge that any spark can destroy it.

'The driver obviously feared for his life. It was like hell. A terrible feeling. It was very scary. We saw three forest patrol vehicles. They just stood there and the fire epicentres were right behind them. But they could not do anything. No one helped them.'

Fire on the motor way


Fire on the motor way


Fire on the motor way


Fire on the motor way

The State Forestry Service reported the fires were caused by arsonists. The total area of the fire there is about 100 hectares. 

Some 24,600 hectares are ablaze in the TransBaikal region and these images from a car video show the reality of the fires. The car was en route from Chita to Mogocha, according to postings on social media. 

The State Forestry Service reported the fires were caused by arsonists. The total area of the fire there is about 100 hectares. 

A local order bans residents of TransBaikal region going into forests until 8 June, regardless of the purpose. While there has been rain it has failed to douse the fires because of strong winds. 

Comments (3)

Nature is more forceful than any man...but didn't Vladimir say he'd 2 years ago he'd put more resources into fire prevention & into the fire services in that region.

Seems he just can never deliver...unless it's a war you want.
Jaker, Dundalk
29/05/2016 10:32
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0
Very negative news to know about the last big forests on earth burning steadily, year after year.
Andres Suarez, Cancun, Mexico
25/05/2016 11:06
2
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Scary pictures indeed, and must be absolutely daunting to have to drive through these areas. Lets hope you all get some heavy rain soon, as it's obvious the Fire control operations are being overwhelmed by its spread.
Simon Robinson, Blackburn, England
24/05/2016 15:06
4
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1

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