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'I've grown fat, got a tan & now look like a Siberian'
Vladimir Lenin, 1897, in Siberian exile

Wildfires ravage Siberia and Far East of Russia

By The Siberian Times reporter
08 May 2019

At least three are dangerously close to population centres in Irkutsk region.

Drivers warn each other about the most threatening areas of the road where the inferno gets too close. Picture: Svodka38

Walls of fire are burning on both sides of federal R-255 highway from Irkutsk to Angarsk. 

Drivers warn each other about the most threatening areas of the road where the inferno gets too close by sharing videos highlighting the thick clouds of smoke.

Spectacular videos and pictures show the carnage being wrought.

Strong wind that started overnight fuelled the fires pushing the flames towards the region’s biggest city Irkutsk, population 602,000.

Children and elderly people have been evacuated from Bolshoye Goloustnoye village with more than 600 residents, while men stay to fight the coming fire. 

The wildfire that is moving towards the village has already burned more than one thousand hectares of taiga. 

Fire on Angarsk motorway


Fire on Angarsk motorway


Fire on Angarsk motorway


Fire on Angarsk motorway


Fire on Angarsk motorway


Fire on Angarsk motorway

30 firefighters working along the Irkutsk to Angarsk route. Pictures: Irk.ru, Vesti Irkutsk

Another large fire the area of 2,000 hectares is circling Tarasa village, threatening its residents and poisoning the area with caustic smoke. 

By data released on Wednesday, the territory covered by nine wildfires in Irkutsk region grew twofold and reached 5,010 hectares.

Bolshoye Goloustnoye


Bolshoye Goloustnoye


Bolshoye Goloustnoye

Children and elderly people have been evacuated from Bolshoye Goloustnoye village with more than 600 residents, while men stay to fight the coming fire. Pictures: @bolshoye_goloustnoye

More than a half of the affected area is covered with precious forest which takes years to re-grow. 

Residents are warned that due to dry and windy weather rescuers predict high and extremely high probability of more wildfires.

Currently there are five fire appliances and 30 firefighters working along the Irkutsk to Angarsk route. 

Map of the fires

More brigades work to defend villages and stop fire in woods of remote corners of the region.

The head of the local Ministry of Emergencies Valentin Nelyubov said the situation with wildfires grew so difficult due to insufficient fire extinguishing forces and lack of initiative shown by the municipal authorities. 

Overall in Irkutsk region firefighters face more than 50,000 hectares (50km2) of burning woods and fields.  

In the neighboring Trans-Baikal region wildfires reached the area of 31,300 hectares (313km2). 

Several remote corners of the Republic of Buryatia are so hard to reach that wildfires on the area of 23,700 hectares (237km2) are not getting extinguished. 

Krasnoyarsk region is fighting against 27 forest fires burning the territory of 1,100 hectares (1,1km2), while Amur region reports seven fires covering 96,000 hectares (96km2). 

The size of the areas affected by infernos means that 1.5 the areas of Andorra - which is 468 km²  - is going up in flames in Siberia and the Far East of Russia.

Comments (3)

not much in our news services about wildfires in russia… or anywhere else in the world except our own backyard the truth is we all share the same anxieties and fears... best wishes to everyone struggling
keith, canada
05/06/2019 03:47
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0
We don't hear much in America about this devastating event that evidently has been happening for some time. It would seem that, whatever the cause, this natural disaster would require a multi-national resolve. Our natural resources are depleted and forests everywhere are the lungs of our planet. Surely the activity to retard the spread of such fires ought to be a priority for all of us, no matter the country. Alas, and from afar, I can only hope that efforts can be made to work toward solutions to help the people affected locally and globally from the massive carbon emissions such fires create. Good luck and good fortune to those on the front lines working to save people, communities and most of all the forests.
Zen Benefiel, United States
16/05/2019 22:31
1
0
This is pretty hard to see and read about. I sure pray some moisture comes your way to help put these out along with the men/women fire fighters.
t-man, Colorado
09/05/2019 08:54
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0
1

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