Saturday, July 22, 2017

Russian military aircraft deployed to contain forest fires in Urals, Siberia

On Monday, a fleet of Russian military aircraft were deployed to identify and extinguish forest fires detected in the Urals area and Siberia.

Russia's Eastern Military District sent Mi-8 jets, An-26 helicopters, as well as An-12 and An-26 transport planes to evacuate the areas affected by fires and to drop extinguishing agents over the 100 separate blazes, which collectively spanned nearly 30,000 acres of wilderness, ITAR-TASS reports.

As of Monday, the firefighting team included 7,500 rescuers and fire containment specialists.

Aside from the manned jets, helicopters and airplanes, firefighters deployed several drones equipped with infrared cameras to gauge the direction in which the fires were spreading. As a result, firefighters were able to warn residents of the Buryatia, Primorye, Baikal, Khabarovsk and Amur regions that wild fires were headed their way, according to ITAR-TASS.

Since Monday, officials in charge of containing the fires have reported new blazes in the Altai Republic and in the Russian regions of Tuva, Khakassia, Krasnoyarsk and Irkutsk regions.