Saturday, December 16, 2017

Russian government commits additional resources to fighting forest fires

Vladimir Puchkov, the head of the Russian government's Ministry of Emergencies, vowed to commit more firefighting and rescue personnel to the Mordovia and Nizhny Novgorod areas affected by forest fires.

Puchkov's commitment to offer more assistance to combat the fires was made during a visit last week to Mordovia and Nizhny Novgorod, where he met with regional and municipal officials to discuss the situation. During his visit, Puchkov conducted an arial inspection of the blazes alongside fire management personnel, according to Russia's Ministry for Civil Defense, Emergencies and Elimination of the Consequences of Natural Disasters.

"Unusually high temperatures are now being recorded in these two regions," Puchkov said during his meeting with Mordovia's emergency response team. "Therefore, we must pay particular attention to the protection of their population and territories, including those of Saransk and Sarov, from wildfires. We have decided to increase the group of fire-rescue forces and put Russian Emergency Ministry units in the region on high alert. All emerging wildfires should be eliminated on the day of the occurrence."

During a separate meeting with area emergency responders, Puchkov called for the construction of a new fire department in nearby Saransk to serve as centralized fire response center. The new facility will be equipped with modern equipment able to quickly eliminate fires of various complexity.

"A branch of the search and rescue team of the Volga Regional Center of the Russian Emergencies Ministry staffed with up to 50 people will be opened in the republic," Puchkov said. "Among other issues, its forces and resources will be involved in solving the tasks associated with the conduct of a number of matches of the 2018 World Cup in Mordovia."