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Total of 26 forest fires at an area totalling over 426 hectares have been registered in Siberia
A total of 26 forest fires at an area totalling over 426 hectares have been registered in Siberia, the information department of the Russian Ministry of Emergency Situations told Itar-Tass on Monday. “As many as 25 natural seats of fire at an area of 426.5 hectares have been registered in the Siberian federal district at present,” a ministry official said. He pointed out that one major fire has been reported. “A major conflagration spot has been registered in the Chita region, its total area is 200 hectares,” the ministry specified. There is no threat to local oil and gas pipelines, to potentially hazardous and other facilities of the economy presented by the forest fires, according to the emergencies ministry. The ministry specialists have forecasted an early beginning of the fire hazard season in Russian forest. This situation has been caused by the early onset of spring, as well as small amount of snow and early end of spring floods. According to specialists of the emergencies ministry, the growth in the number of fires and their spread areas, as compared with 2006, is expected in the Urals and North-Western federal districts. “Analogous indicators will not exceed the previous year’s level in the rest of the Russian territory,” the ministry believes. However, the growth in the spending level for fire-fighting efforts is expected this year in the Far Eastern, Urals, North-Western and Central regions. The bulk of spending on fire-extinguishing efforts in forests was made last year in Siberia, the Far East, Northwest and Urals, the emergencies ministry officials reported. The “human factor” is still reported to be among the main causes of fires in forests. In particular, the “burning of last year’s dry grass” by people starts fires in springtime.
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