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Transbaikalia meets forest fires without money and people
The region risks repeating the tragic experience of 2019
The Ministry of Natural Resources of Russia instructed the forest department of Transbaikalia to strengthen measures to control the forest fire situation in the region. Now Rosleskhoz recommends opening a fire hazard season in the Chita region. Forests in the region are already burning, with fires in Transbaikalia, according to Aviation Forest Protection, most of all in Russia. Why did the regional authorities not rush to take measures and did they draw conclusions from the terrible events of last year, when natural fires caused significant damage to the territory, EastRussia found out.
Rosleskhoz registers the growth of thermal points in Transbaikalia. At the beginning of the month, 185 thermal points were recorded in the region on an area of 7750 ha on lands of other categories and agricultural lands. Because of this, the department recommended that the region, in accordance with weather conditions and a fire hazard situation, open a fire hazard season in a number of municipalities.
According to ISDM-Rosleskhoz, in Transbaikalia there is an increase in “hot spots”. They operate on agricultural lands and other categories. On March 22, their area exceeded three thousand hectares. In fact, many of the thermal points are unauthorized dry grass fallen on agricultural lands, stocks, and other categories and pose a high danger to forest areas.
The fact that the fire hazard season in Transbaikalia has begun, says smoky smog from the forest burning around the regional center. Smoke in a dense ring enveloped Chita. Since the beginning of this year, 23 fires have already been registered in the region, four fires are now in effect. One is localized, three are being eliminated. According to the regional Ministry of Natural Resources, 87 people and 19 pieces of equipment are involved in the extinguishing. Firefighters promise to eliminate the fires in the coming days.
Experts include Chita, Uleovsky, Karymsky districts as the most burning areas. The Transbaikalleskhoz and Chita airbase, as well as the tenants of forest areas, are involved in extinguishing fires - for this, relevant agreements have been concluded with them. The total number of firefighters this year is more than 2,5 thousand people - 163 more than in 2019. The number of equipment increased by 36 units. However, the issue of mobile communications in remote areas remains open. Last year, due to the inability to call firefighters in the villages of the Borzinsky district on time, fire destroyed dozens of houses.
Frivolity and Personnel Hunger
According to experts, this year the level of preparation for the fire hazard season is slightly better than in the fiery 2019th. Then, in a week, natural fires in Transbaikalia destroyed about 100 residential buildings and killed thousands of animals. Local authorities estimated the damage at one billion rubles. According to the then acting head of the region, Alexander Osipov, more than 85% of the settlements did not have fire brigades. Because of this, residents had to wait until firefighters arrived from neighboring villages and cities.
Natural fires in Transbaikalia last year began on April 19. The flame spread very quickly due to gusty wind and high temperature. Fires swept the southern and southeastern part of the region, 17 settlements were on fire, the elements almost completely destroyed several of them. The head of the Ministry of Emergencies, Yevgeny Zinichev, commenting on the fires in the region, called them a natural disaster.
Then, speaking about the causes of extensive fires, Osipov stated that fire brigades were sorely lacking in the region. According to him, 70% of the population lives in settlements from 500 people or less, while only 880 fire brigades account for 111 settlements - 87% (769) of settlements remain without their own means of rapid fire response. In addition, almost half of the workers were lacking in fire brigades. With a standard number of 2,5 thousand people, only 1,4 thousand workers were involved in the teams.
Now in the region the hot season has come again. What prevents the regions of Transbaikalia from preparing for the fire hazard season? According to the deputy chairman of the regional government Andrei Gurulev, two reasons interfere. One of them is frivolity.
“We started preparing in the fall. But to prepare thoroughly prevents, firstly, personal disorganization - this is the main reason. Secondly, frivolity, ”said Gurulev.
According to him, in the spring of this year, the Onon district, where several villages burned down last year, and the Uletovsky district, had the best training results. The deputy chairman called the district of Chita lagging behind in preparation. As of March 24, there was a fire extinguished near the village of Makkaveevo, near the Forest Town and Cookies still continue to fight the fire. The main problems are the same: the lack of permanent workers and funding for their maintenance.
“Now the KSAU Zabaikalsleskhoz is almost ready to complete the tasks: out of 1 people, 057 are recruited. But we are extremely limited in financial resources. The problem is that we do not have a permanent staff and there is no money for salaries. Recruiting people for a fire-hazardous period is not the best option, because a person must have stable work. Therefore, we are not getting the best shots, ”commented Andrei Gurulev.
He emphasized that in a fire hazard period not only firefighters are needed, but also tractor drivers, drivers who must be responsible for the machinery with their heads, often updated.
“Not one owner will put temporary workers on new cars,” the deputy chairman noted.
According to Andrei Gurulev, in the near future the authorities will try to approve the permanent staff of the fire-fighters in order to remove the personnel problem. At the same time, he noted that almost half of the lands in Transbaikalia are not controlled by fire departments - these are mainly steppe regions. Therefore, 40% of the land in the region will not be extinguished in case of fire. The reason is the distribution of powers and responsibilities. To solve this problem, it is planned to create a unified fire control center in the region. It is assumed that the structure will be created at the regional GU EMERCOM.
“Today, about 600 hectares are burning in Transbaikalia. There are ten forest fires, two on localization, we need to extinguish them, because wind is expected to increase, though with snow, ”the deputy chairman said.
On the eve of the fire hazard season was officially opened in Uletovsky, Chita regions and in Chita. It was on March 23 that the federal structures asked to introduce this regime. Moreover, if the situation changes, it can be canceled. And while it is still operating, and there are more “hot spots”, the regional authorities intend to fight another cause of fires - arsonists. They want to increase fines for them.
“Unfortunately, we have all the punishment - a fine of five thousand rubles, if there is no damage. And the damage still needs to be proved. Grass burns, is there any damage? That's all on it, come. We propose to do it like with drunk drivers while driving: the first time a fine of 30 thousand rubles, the second a criminal case, ”the deputy chairman said.
He also said that Deputy Prime Minister and Presidential Envoy to the Far Eastern Federal District, Yuri Trutnev, asked the governor of Transbaikalia, Alexander Osipov, to draw up a list of measures to counter forest fires in the region.
DESTROYED FOREST SERVICE
The head of the enterprise in Transbaikalia, which is one of the tenants of forest areas in the region, shared his vision of the situation with forest fires in Transbaikalia. In his opinion, the region will burn every spring for at least another ten years.
“The fact is that around the cities and villages there are a lot of so-called“ AWOLs. ” Today, this forest abandoned by foresters lies and dries, representing a powder keg. What will give a meter of opash around settlements when a samovil lies before and behind a solid wall? Never mind. This is a checkmark that the mineral strip is plowed. We need to take effective measures to clean up the territories around the settlements, and not put out when it has already caught fire, ”the tenant believes.
In his opinion, there will be fewer fires in the region if the use of burners and deadwood in forest areas is prohibited in Transbaikalia. The tenant believes that the Chita district today is actively burning, because the floodplain of the Ingoda River is cut down there, suburban forests are destroyed, and local authorities do not take timely measures. The interlocutor notes that it is necessary to completely remove the forest reception points on the territory of the Trans-Baikal Territory.
“Another reason is the lack of authority among foresters. We destroyed the forest service under the root, there is no master in the forest. Previously, when the foresters put out the fires, they knew which side to go on, how to properly let the oncoming fire fall. Today people who are far from this work, not professionals, are engaged in extinguishing forest fires. Forest fires have their own specifics; knowledge of the territory and the terrain is necessary. Visitors cannot do this, no matter how trained they are, ”the tenant notes.
He calls the forest police department shooting at sparrows, and also states that a large circle of people are interested in repeating this situation every year.
“Do not forget about the large money supply that comes to the forest sector from our eastern neighbors. This material interest made many blind, ”explained the head of the enterprise.
In his opinion, the KSAU Zabaikalsleskhoz team is incompetent - there is no full-fledged working team, people are not familiar with the rules for operating the equipment, and there is no transparent system for distributing funds.