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Fire, water and copper pipes
EastRussia analyzes the situation with forest fires in the Far Eastern Federal District and Transbaikalia and tries to find answers to the questions "who is to blame" and "what to do"
The April fires in Khakassia and the Trans-Baikal region, which left hundreds of people homeless, once again stirred up the topic of forest fires. Who is guilty? What to do? These are the main questions that are again asked by the authorities and the people. In 2007, the Forest Code came into force, completely changing the forest protection system. In all the troubles, experts blame him. Then to protect forests, to fight forest fires instructed the regions. Funds for this are provided for in the federal budget. But the regions complain year after year that the money allocated for the prevention of fires and their extinguishing is sorely lacking. Rosleskhoz also believes that all problems - from inaction and careless attitude to their responsibilities of regional authorities. Like, forest fires no money, they are easier to warn than to extinguish.
Trans-Baikal Territory: in all major fires the man is guilty
Transbaikalia continues to struggle with the most severe forest fires. According to the situation on 15 May, the area of fires again increased - up to 36,7 thousand hectares, TASS reported citing the State Forest Service of the region. Fires operate in 16 districts of the province, and smoke in Chita is associated with a large forest fire near the village of Mukhor-Konduy in the territory of neighboring Buryatia. And without that, the uneasy fire situation is complicated by the weather - a storm warning was issued the day before, the agency stresses.
The population was banned from hiking in the forest, agricultural producers on their plots only get on passes. The State Forest Service of the Trans-Baikal Territory asks residents not to carry out fire works, not to burn garbage and grass in country cottages and household plots. Forest or steppe fires are asked to immediately report on a single telephone to the forest guard: 8-800-100-94-00 and to the Regional Dispatch Service: 20-22-07.
In late March, the Governor of the Trans-Baikal Territory, Konstantin Ilkovsky, assessed the readiness for a fire-dangerous season as incomplete. For extinguishing forest fires in the past year, the federal budget owes the edge of 80 million rubles.
Forests in Transbaikalia began to burn 19 March, and 13 April, the fire spread to residential and holiday homes. 11 people were killed, fires completely destroyed 240 residential buildings in 18 settlements, another 850 suffered, according to the Investigative Department of the Investigation Committee of Russia for the region. We could not cope with our forces, we had to involve the federal reserve - people and aviation from the Ministry of Emergency Situations and the Ministry of Defense.
The families of those killed from the federal budget were given 1 million rubles. The victims, partially lost property, received 50 thousand rubles, lost their homes - by 100 thousand rubles, said EastRussia deputy chairman of the Trans-Baikal Territory Gennady Chupin. According to him, the main task is to restore housing to all the victims. But there is a problem: the ownership of burnt houses was not issued by every victim. "The subsidy that came from the federal budget implies a number of conditions under which people can claim housing construction, or receive housing from the subject in return for the lost. The housing that suffered was to be a dwelling and people were supposed to reside there permanently. The second condition - this accommodation was the only one for living with this family. And thirdly, they should not have other housing that is suitable for living. Of course, here there are questions. Someone did not manage to register the property right, someone was not there registered. But in relation to each person, and we have their 520, we will fight in court and prove the facts necessary for obtaining housing. We will provide free legal assistance to every person. About 40 such statements have already been considered, people are put on the lists for housing construction, "Chupin said.
The April fires in Transbaikalia have already become an unkind tradition, every spring the edge burns, and the fire spreads over large areas. Gennady Chupin, the head of the regional commission for the prevention and liquidation of emergency situations and fire safety, voiced several reasons for these fires. The first one called the changed climate: in March and April the precipitation fell to 16 times less than normal, in mid-April, the temperature record + 19 degrees, which was held before this 31 year, was beaten. This year, the temperature rose to + 27 degrees. Plus two months almost every day there was a strong stormy wind with gusts up to 20-25 m / c.
The next reason is abandoned agricultural land, where they used to graze cattle, mowing grass. Now, instead of pastures - grass to the waist and dried weeds. Another problem is unauthorized dumping of household garbage on the territory of municipalities, including in Chita. According to Chupin, people dump the garbage where they live, then it burns, a strong wind picks up the flame - and that’s the fire.
Previously, large companies worked in the forest. They built roads, built fire breaks. Illegal felling is now flourishing. "And illegal wood is harvested? They sawed off everything they needed, left everything else, the wood was chopped off. And I do not exclude that these people, accustomed to chaos in the forest, will support fires in it. I also focused on this last year when I got into the zone of criticism from the prosecutor's office. For the period of emergency and, in general, throughout the fire-dangerous period, there should be increased attention to such economic entities. Burnt forest - it is cheaper, we forbade economic entities to take it away and entrusted this case to Zabaikalleskhoz. This problem did not solve, because "Zabaikalleskhoz" began to operate through contractors, in fact the issue of technology has changed, "says Chupin. - On the emergency commission I said that I will offer the governor a completely different procedure for the implementation of the wood that suffered during the fire: the commission decision - which contractors will deal with it, so that there is no temptation to scorch the forest so that the ground fire passes and the wood remains standing, So that it can then be easily cut down under the guise of sanitary felling. "
Analyzing the work of extinguishing the raging fires, Gennady Chupin said that no one takes responsibility and nods to the strong wind. In all major fires, it is not the dry thunderstorms that are to blame, not the short circuit, but the person. It means that the system that was engaged in prevention, put up posts, worked inefficiently: “People were allowed into the forest. Despite the fact that more than 300 people were brought to administrative responsibility, criminal cases were instituted around 65, this did not bring any effect. Now, when we stepped on this rake, we have seriously worked on the prevention system. During the May holidays, the number of spontaneous fires from 20-25 decreased to 3-4. ”
The authorities of Transbaikalia are criticized for the fact that the emergency regime was introduced late. Chupin with this criticism does not quite agree: "For the period of introduction of the emergency, there were 3 forest fires in the area of 4 hectare. In the forest there was still snow, we used these three days for annealing the objects of the economy and settlements. If we had not carried out these anneals, today the consequences would be completely different. Here are the figures of the central bodies of the Ministry of Emergency Measures, which conducted an assessment of our actions: fire was prevented and 9 thousand apartment houses were saved from fires. It is with such a strong wind and so many fires. " According to the vice-premier, the fire services of the region were effective in the conditions of emergencies.
The prosecutor's office of the Trans-Baikal Territory on the facts of fire initiated 25 criminal cases. Criminal proceedings were instituted, including against the Acting the head of the State Forest Service of the region and some officials of the regional government responsible for putting out fires, preventing and eliminating emergency situations. “With such a serious tragedy that occurred, such an assessment should be given. If the investigating authorities opened such cases, they should be fully and objectively investigated. I do not exclude myself in this list. If there is a fault in the inadequate performance of official duties, then people from the authorities should be held accountable, ”Gennady Chupin reflects philosophically.
Khabarovsk Territory sounds alarm
The Khabarovsk Territory is ready for a fire-dangerous season. Prepared by 20 fire-chemical stations, staffed with their staff, equipment was repaired, contests for hiring aircraft aircraft were held. On a festive day 1 May there were about 12 forest fires, they were immediately extinguished, and then it began to rain, which is very pleased with the head of the forest management department of the Khabarovsk Krai government Ivan Denisov.
Denisov regretfully tells EastRussia that from year to year funds allocated from the federal budget for extinguishing forest fires are not enough. For this year, 32,6 million rubles have been allocated, this despite the fact that with minimal burning per year it is necessary to spend from 120 million to 125 million rubles. "Initially, we are put in such a situation that in the middle of a fire hazardous season there will be a payable for firefighting. This year, the decision to repay the accounts payable was taken only in May. Such financing leads us into a deadlock situation. There were years when the forests were burning heavily, the amounts we had reached 350 million rubles. Annually, the edge allocated additional funds. Today, the regional government has sharply posed such a task: if the budget is subsidized (and we have it subsidized), the region has no right to finance the transferred federal powers. That is, you already do not have enough money, and you still pay those powers that should not be paid. Therefore, we are now sounding the alarm to urgently reconsider the method of distributing subventions. Yes, there will be no more money, cutbacks and savings, but let's divide the loaf, whether it is good or good, equally, "Denisov suggests.
Khabarovsk Krai allocates funds from its budget for salaries to employees of the forestry sector, to the northern surcharges. Local deputies adopted the law "On Specially Protected Natural Territories of Regional Importance". These are reserves and reserves. On them the regional budget allocated 100 million rubles. Denisov does not want to put up with the fact that Khabarovsk Territory allocates 10 (!) Rubles per hectare of the forest from the federal budget. For example, the Lipetsk region receives 1000 rubles per hectare, and Stavropol - 395. "What's worse than the forest?" They say that the amount depends on the recreational load, on how many people rest on a hectare. And the forest that we have from Khabarovsk in 10 km, that in Moscow, that in the suburbs of Stavropol. Also, this forest can be set on fire, the same costs will go to extinguish, to plant a forest. And we still have such a moment: in Moscow and other areas you can approach the fire on a good road, and before our fires, it happens, you fly on 2,5-3 hours. Only one flight costs more than half a million rubles. We are rising in price because of the inaccessibility of places, there are no roads, additional costs for the delivery of equipment and people. "
Forests of the Khabarovsk Territory fly by airplanes and helicopters, look where the forest burns, where it does not burn. Only for air monitoring in the year goes 100 million rubles. To somehow save money, we decided to look at unmanned aerial vehicles. "We found a company in Izhevsk, which provided us with Supercam S-350 and technical personnel. In the presence of the governor, we launched it, - says Ivan Denisov. - There was a squally wind, with such a wind in the forest, a fire can easily start, but a heavy technique like An-2 or Mi-8 will not always be able to fly. The device showed itself well, calmly took off and in such conditions. "
Drones have their own characteristics, they need to get used to, see how tall they can climb, how they will react to different climatic conditions. The government of the Khabarovsk Territory is still planning to purchase 2-3 such devices for densely populated areas - Khabarovsk and Komsomolsky, a year to work with them, and then decide on a mass purchase.
The full equipment of an unmanned aerial vehicle costs about 5 million rubles. At first this amount frightens, but after simple calculations the fear goes away. The hour of the summer of the Mi-8 helicopter costs about 150 thousand rubles. To fly around a small territory, for example, Khabarovsk region, it will take 5-6 hours. From May to October, overflights are made almost daily. It turns out that the cost of an unmanned vehicle is 10 days of Mi-8 flights.
It will not be possible to completely abandon expensive aviation to the Khabarovsk Territory. With her help in the region extinguish fires, drop paratroopers who jump to the edge of the fire. About 80% of forest fires in the Khabarovsk Territory are extinguished by aviation forces. But if drones are well-proven, it will be possible to significantly save on monitoring.
Yakutia: one and a half rubles per hectare of forest
Yakutia receives even less money per hectare of forest than Khabarovsk Krai - 1,5 ruble. In the republic 255 million hectares of forest, this is 80% of the total territory. Fire season opened 7 May. The amount of equipment (35% of the standard at low altitude) and people's standards does not match. At the Yakut airbase, 165 people work, in subordinate enterprises - 170.
Last year, 306 forest fires were reported, of which 227 fires were caused by dry thunderstorms. For a month and a half it was hot, dry weather. People did not have enough access to remote fires. Burned 1 million 269 thousand hectares of forest. Fires threatened 45 settlements, to 11 came within a five-kilometer zone. Several fires stopped in 300-500 m from the villages.
Realizing that the forces are not equal, and remembering that the rescue of drowning people is the work of the drowning themselves, they are actively working with the heads of settlements in Yakutia, says Vyacheslav Popov, head of the Forestry Department of the republic. The population of Yakutia has long been actively involved in extinguishing forest fires. In each locality less than 1000 people volunteer fire brigades are created, and where there are more 1000 people, there are fire units. The initial fires are extinguished by them. "If you sit and wait for the fire to gain strength and come to the village, no one will stop it. You saw how it was in Khakassia and Transbaikalia. We need to act quickly. Even if to the source of ignition 20 km, it is necessary to go there and extinguish, "- assured Popov.
He noted active preventive work among the population. According to him, every year in Yakutia the number of fires that have arisen due to the fault of a person is decreasing. But there are always people who carelessly handle fire in nature.
At the central airbase of Yakutia, leaders of forest fire extinguishing are being prepared. Exit courses are organized. For 3, 700 people were trained. They clearly know how to neutralize the emerging centers of forest fires, how to arrange people. There are few foresters, therefore, as allies among those who are professionally engaged in extinguishing, heads of municipalities. The Department of Forest Relations has set itself a goal: in every village, village there must be at least one head of fighting forest fires.
250 employees take on seasonal work, at 4-5 months, and this is a big help. Last year, Yakutia was assisted by paratroopers from Khabarovsk, Primorsky Krai, and the Amur Region. The government of the republic has an agreement with neighboring regions in case of extreme situation to render assistance in extinguishing forest fires. The central bases of the Federal Forestry Agency also helped, specialists from Moscow fought in difficult places with fires.
Vyacheslav Popov complains that lack of funding is a systemic problem, every year - accounts payable. This means that wages are not paid, taxes are not deducted, fines are run up. The Federal Forestry Agency has allocated Yakutia 236 million rubles for the repayment of accounts payable. But the debt for extinguishing forest fires over the past year is 302 million rubles.
By the norm of Yakutia, one and a half rubles per hectare of forest is allocated. Forest fund - 255 million hectares. They are only 35 million hectares protected. 87 settlements remained without aviation and ground monitoring. The decision to extinguish fires there is taken only if there is a threat to the settlement. And no one can predict how a fire will behave in such difficult climatic conditions. Vyacheslav Popov, like his colleague from the Khabarovsk Territory, does not agree with the existing regulations on the distribution of subventions. He says they do not take into account the territorial peculiarities of the republic: "I am working for the fifth season. How come, I put this question. The Accounts Chamber, the Prosecutor General's Office support us, but there are no changes. "
The head of the forest department of Greenpeace Russia, Alexei Yaroshenko, in a conversation with an EastRussia correspondent, called Yakutia and the Amur Region champions of lies about forest fire areas. The head of the Department of Forest Relations of Yakutia, Vyacheslav Popov, disagreed with this criticism: “We register every fire, even half a hectare, show it as it is. Everyone sees that the number of fires is not reduced. Discrepancies in the area of fires are related to the fact that in the initial stage, when there is a smoke screen, it is difficult to determine from the aircraft what is there. In addition, we cannot fly around every time by plane, because we have no money for this. A satellite always gives data with an error. We did special flights, the divergences of aviation and space monitoring were 25-40%. So here you can argue for a long time. ”
Rosleskhoz: regions will add money to fight fires
The Federal Forestry Agency (Rosleskhoz), among the causes of forest fires in Transbaikalia, calls not only weather conditions, non-compliance by citizens with fire safety measures, but also "untimely response of state authorities of the subjects of the Russian Federation, local authorities responsible for ensuring fire safety in forests and populated areas Points ". The department notes that the spring burning of dry grass is often the main cause of the occurrence of numerous wildfires. This dangerous practice can be stopped by the draft federal law "On Amendments to Certain Legislative Acts of the Russian Federation to Prevent Damage to Land", developed by State Duma Deputy Nadezhda Shkolkina. The bill prescribed a ban on burning dry grass and increased responsibility for such a violation.
Commenting to the EastRussia correspondent about regional complaints about insufficient funding, the Rosleskhoz press service reported that the subventions for carrying out firefighting activities have been increased: for the Trans-Baikal Territory - by 12,7 million rubles, for the Republic of Sakha (Yakutia) - by 12,9 million rubles. In addition, accounts payable for extinguishing forest fires 2014 year will be extinguished: for the Trans-Baikal Territory - 76,0 million rubles, for the Republic of Sakha (Yakutia) - 236,3 million rubles.
The question of returning to the forest protection system that existed before 2007 of the year is not yet worth it. The Rosleskhoz reminded that in recent years, changes and additions have been made to the Forest Code. They are aimed at addressing the issues of extinguishing forest fires, their prevention, fire safety in forests, monitoring, and developing plans for extinguishing forest fires. “However, as practice shows, actions to ensure fire safety, and most often inaction and negligence in relation to their duties as officials of state authorities in a number of constituent entities of the Russian Federation, lead to disastrous consequences that took place in the Republic of Khakassia and the Trans-Baikal Territory. Only a responsible attitude of officials to their duties could increase the effectiveness of actions to ensure fire safety in the forests and in the adjacent territories, ”said the press service of the department.
The efficiency of the regions will be assessed by the Rosleskhoz by a special methodology adopted in late March. It includes seven indicators that will analyze the implementation of delegated authority. As punishment, the regions will take away these powers and transfer them to the federal level. "As for the seizure of powers, this is not a serious issue now, because the governors have been plagued by the forests, for them it is not terrible. For them, this is a constant headache. Well, take away, and who will perform them? "- reflects the head of the forest department of Greenpeace Russia Alexei Yaroshenko.
Minvostokrazvitiya: to fight forest fires DFO allocate only half of the required amount
Regions of the Far Eastern Federal District are traditionally one of the most burning in the country, recalls the Ministry of Color Industry: "Due to critical underfunding, accounts payable are formed annually, which in the fire-hazardous period affects the promptness of taking measures to extinguish. In 2014, the DFO took the odd first place among the federal districts in terms of the number of fires - 2115. The average area of the forest fire in the district was almost four times higher than the national average, "explained EastRussia in the department.
According to the estimates of the subjects of the Far Eastern Federal District, only 30 to 50% of the necessary funds are allocated for the exercise of powers. Within five years, the annual actual costs of extinguishing forest fires amount to 924,8 million rubles, and a little more than half of this amount is allocated from the federal budget. The reason is that when forming the appropriate methodology, the coefficients on the basis of which funding is distributed were determined by the “reverse” method, that is, taking into account the actual financing of forest powers (when they were federal - the old Forest Code). At that time, federal funding for individual RF subjects of the Far Eastern Federal District never exceeded 30-50%, the rest of the funds were earned during felling and other economic activities.
1 January 2015, the total debt to the Far Eastern Federal District for extinguishing forest fires was 708 million 728 thousand rubles. By May 7, the debt decreased to 347 million 883 thousand rubles. The Rosleskhoz did not accept these funds for redemption and is not going to reimburse, they told the Ministry of Eastern and Eastern Development. The press service of the Rosleskhoz explained that only the payables, which the regions had documented, were fully financed.
Minvostokrazvitiya notes that the funds transferred to the regions of the Far East to pay off accounts payable are included in the subventions for 2015 year. And here there are difficulties. To pay off debts for 2014 year by means allocated on 2015, it is possible only with infringement of the budgetary legislation. If this is done, and the regions have no other way out, the underfunding of forest powers this year will be critical. Experts estimated that forest loss from fires will amount to about 1,5 million hectares. And the costs of the federal budget for the liquidation of emergencies (the restoration of burnt houses, payment of compensation) will many times exceed the amount of under-received subventions. The agency fears that severe fires like those that raged in Khakassia and the Trans-Baikal Territory in mid-April may repeat. In Rosleskhoz, however, it is asserted that additional funds have been allocated from the federal budget to repay the accounts payable - 550,1 million rubles.
The Reserve Fund of the Government of the Russian Federation for the Prevention and Elimination of Emergencies and Consequences of Natural Disasters could help eliminate the formation of accounts payable from the subjects of the Russian Federation for extinguishing forest fires, according to the Ministry of Eastern and European Development. But the issue of allocating funds from the Fund to cover the costs associated with extinguishing forest fires has not yet been resolved.
"Greenpeace": we will burn further
The head of the forest department of Greenpeace Russia Alexei Yaroshenko describes the problem with forest fires as very complex. Analyzing the recent fires in Khakassia and Transbaikalia, he noted that they began from the fall of dry grass. Fire almost in all cases came to the forest from adjacent territories. Therefore, the responsibility lies not only on those responsible for the forest, but also on those responsible for fire safety around. And with the "around" a difficult question: a unified system for protecting territories from fires is only on paper, but in reality it does not, the expert points out: "For each category of land, someone is responsible. And there are categories for which no one answers. We use fire extensively as an element of land use, preventive burning is carried out. In 2013, the president instructed the Ministry of Emergency Situations to establish the procedure for burning dry grass, which eliminates the transition of fire to populated areas, infrastructure, forests and peatlands. The Ministry of Emergency Situations has not coped with this, the commission remains unfulfilled, although it is already two years. The law does not prohibit the burning of dry grass. There are restrictions on certain categories of land, but there is no universal. "
According to the expert assessment of Greenpeace, the very first fires in Transbaikalia began because of uncontrolled burning out of dry grass. Annually in the Trans-Baikal Territory's plans there are more than 30 thousand hectares for burning dry grass. "In reality, the forces that they have, to conduct burn-out in compliance with safety standards that operated in the 90-ies, with the happiest combination of circumstances, under the best weather conditions, they can a maximum of 3-5 thousand hectares. That is, they knowingly burn dry grass, allegedly as a fire-fighting measure in areas where they can not do it safely. Therefore, the fire always goes out of control, always begins to spread to large areas. Plus, children, psychos look at this. They see, yeah, foresters, agricultural enterprises, municipalities, road workers have passed through the burning of dry grass. Children also take matches and start imitating adults. The psychologists catch, who were interested in how the grass is burning, "Yaroshenko explains.
Having analyzed the causes of fires in Transbaikalia, Alexei Yaroshenko asks the following question: why did not they manage to cope immediately? Forest workers do not have the right to extinguish fires on the outskirts of the forest, formally for this there is even a criminal responsibility - the misuse of budgetary funds, it is possible to shackle up to two years in prison. Therefore, far from everyone decides to go to extinguish the grassy fir, which goes to the forest. Another reason is the lack of funding. For Transbaikal it is less than necessary several times. But the main reason, according to Yaroshenko, lies in the Forest Code, adopted at the end of 2006. "The Forest Code destroyed the economic basis of forestry. Earlier, money that was earned in the forest was spent there. The leshoz has earned, the leshoz has spent it. Now, most of the earned money goes to the budget, passes through all levels of the budget system, up to the federal level, and then it is distributed and comes back through a certain equalizing system. First of all, not all come. Secondly, with such a system on the ground there is simply no motivation for this system to work economically. As a result, it turns out that formally now the state spends on the forest somewhere three times more than before the adoption of the Forest Code. And it comes to real work in the forest several times less than it came before. And that's why there is not enough money on the ground, "the expert explains.
The main reason for forest fires is the expert calls complete irresponsibility. According to him, when the Forest Code was adopted, all professionals understood that it would destroy the forestry: "Did someone take responsibility for this? No one. Or an example with a forest fire. The president himself in 2013 at a meeting of the State Council announced the data on the underestimation of forest fires in 4-5 times. For this, too, no one was responsible. We have an article in the Criminal Code, which provides for punishment for the distortion of information, this article is asleep, to no one applies. Therefore, while we do not have any responsibility, the situation will not change. "
Sergey Mitrokhin: the Forest Code should be changed
Chairman of the party "Yabloko" Sergei Mitrokhin also blames the Forest Code in all, completely changed the concept of forest protection. According to him, the staff of the forester fell more than 10 times, so there is no one to monitor the state of forests, to prevent forest fires. The functions of supervision are actually transferred to business entities. "The concept, which was laid down in the Forest Code, presupposed the accelerated commercialization of the treatment of the forest fund. As a result, from the point of commercialization, Russia did not win much, and the forest protection system was destroyed. The USA, Canada are countries that are comparable to Russia, there are tough state organizations responsible for the forests, with clearly defined tasks and a large staff of employees. And here the state does not consider this direction as a priority, therefore it allocates money on a residual principle, "Mitrokhin explained emotionally.
The politician notes that the regions were in a defenseless position. "Who is to blame, who was the switchman, who set the fire, from the global point of view - a question of the twentieth. Of course, it is necessary to catch the guilty if the crime is committed. But to think that the pursuit of individual arsonists and negligent performers will change something - naive, it will not do anything. "
The way out of the crisis situation, in which the forest fund fell, Sergei Mitrokhin sees only in the new edition of the Forest Code.
The fire-dangerous season in Russia has just begun. Money to extinguish forest fires will continue to be missed. The population and officials responsible for fire safety in forests need to pray hard for favorable weather so that the summer will be without anomalies, better than rainy and cool.