Ecology: The situation with the fires in Russia in 2011, worse than in the past

According to RIA Novosti, the situation with forest fires in Russia today is much harder than in the same period last year, said the head of the forest program of Greenpeace Russia Yaroshenko.

"We're burning, we burn a lot. Officially, already burned three times more than in the same period last year", — said Yaroshenko at a press conference in Moscow.

He noted that the decisions taken by the end of last summer, did not lead to the restoration of full forest protection, did not create the economic basis for it. While co-financing to the protection of forests from fires has increased, its volume remained at a significantly lower level than before the adoption of the Forest Code in 2006.

"The people (members of the Forest Service) are loaded bureaucratic work, they do not have time to work with the forest … new people in the forest does not appear" — said Yaroshenko.

He added that there is still no adequate assessment of the area of the burned forest. According to official data, if the result of forest fires last summer burned area initially estimated at 1,000,000 hectares, and then to 2.6 million hectares, the data ecologists say 8.7 million burned area.

According to MOE, since the beginning of fire season in 2011, the country was 11.5 thousand wildfires (in 2010 — 11.28 thousand, an increase of 1.02 times) the total area of 687.26 thousand hectares, an increase over the same period last year to 3.14 times (over 218.5 thousand hectares).

Last summer and fall of a great part of the territory of Russia flared strong natural fires caused by abnormal heat. In the 19 subjects of the federation suffered 199 settlements, 3.2 thousand houses were burned, killed 62 people. The total damage was more than 12 billion rubles. This year, the fire also cover a large area, especially in the Far East and Siberia.

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