Dmitry Kupriyanov, co-chairman of the public volunteer headquarters for combating forest fires in the Republic of Sakha (Yakutia), said in an interview with Sputnik radio that firefighters and volunteers have been fighting the fire for several weeks. The extinguishing involves 200 rescuers, 2 multipurpose amphibious aircraft, IL-76 and about 800 volunteers.
“Now the situation in the Republic is difficult. Several villages are threatened with fire. Fires are increasing due to strong winds and dry climates. There has never been such a dry summer before”, - an eyewitness said.
According to him, the Russian government has allocated large enough forces to put out the fire faster. Meanwhile, experts are convinced that an emergency regime in Yakutia should have been introduced at the beginning of summer, then a large-scale catastrophe could have been avoided. But for this, it would be necessary to redirect the equipment of the Ministry of Emergency Situations to fight the fire, which is now extinguishing fires in Turkey and Greece.
“However, taking into account the very large territories of Yakutia, I would like to have more equipment and specialists. Alas, one area equal in size to Greenland burned down. Subjectively, people and airplanes cannot always help in case of fire”, - said Dmitry Kupriyanov.
He expressed the hope that the turning point in extinguishing the fire could be made by the engineering troops.
In addition to Yakutia, fires are raging in the Irkutsk region. The volunteers believe that if the authorities introduce an interregional emergency regime, this will additionally attract the military, the Ministry of Emergency Situations from other regions, equipment and money to fight fires.
“I personally took part in three trips. Honestly, fire extinguishing work is dangerous. Especially if the person is not prepared, ”the volunteer said.
According to him, there were cases when volunteers came under fire from the horse. The health of the children was severely affected by the smoke. Many families lost their property.
According to the advice of experts, those people who find themselves in the smoke-filled zone should not open windows, breathe - only through masks or gauze bandages soaked in water. Kupriyanov noted that when in a region affected by fires, it is necessary to drink more milk and take absorbents.
“Those who are close to the fires need to take care of the availability of masks, respirators, and better - gas masks in advance”, - the expert is convinced.
Such a large-scale disaster is the largest on record. The fire has already begun to drown the permafrost, and an increased amount of carbon dioxide is emitted into the atmosphere, which has already led to the formation of abnormal hurricanes and "dry" thunderstorms. Smoke covered half the world: Siberia, China, Canada, Alaska and even Greenland. In fact, a global ecological catastrophe has already occurred, the consequences of which, according to ecologists, can lead to the extinction of species and accelerate climate change in Russia.
The UN indicated that 4 million hectares of forest have already been burned down in Yakutia. According to official information from Avialesokhrana, on August 9, 2021, 1,572,967 hectares of forests blazed in Russia, 1,417,718 hectares directly in Yakutia.
This year, according to NASA, smoke from unprecedented Siberian wildfires reached the North Pole for the first time in history, covering a distance of 3,000 kilometers.
Destructive fires have become commonplace in Siberia. Local meteorologists and ecologists attribute this to global climate change and insufficient funding for the forestry service in Russia. According to the law, it is possible not to fight a fire if the costs of extinguishing exceed the damage caused, or if the fire does not threaten settlements. Because of this, huge areas die in flames every year. This year, according to the Russian Forestry Agency, fires have already destroyed more than 14 million hectares. 2021 was the second most damaging fire season since the turn of the century.
On Monday, a UN report made by climate experts was released: according to them, global warming is happening faster than expected, and almost all the blame for this lies with humanity.