“During the dirt, we walk in groups”: firefighters say how they extinguished large forest fires in the Samara area

Firefighters risk their lives every day to save others.

A photograph: Provided by “Komsomolskaya Pravda”

On April 30, Russia celebrates Fire Protection Day. Traditionally, on this important day, firefighters and rescuers are congratulated who risk their lives to save people. KP-Samara decided to recall the summer of 2021, when a state of emergency was declared in the area due to the large forest fires that spread to many municipal districts in the Samara area. The hot dry summer was not an easy time for Samara’s rescuers, many fighters were not home for several weeks and their wives and children anxiously awaited their beloved husbands and fathers, hoping for the best.

Every day they risk their lives to save people.

The work of the fire brigade and the rescue service is very dangerous and difficult, not every person can withstand such stress, so only people with strong will work there. A real firefighter has courage, bravery and is always ready to help. Today we thank the fire and rescue fighters who are ready to fight against the elements at any time of the day or night, despite all the dangers and difficulties, to save the lives of other people.

Firefighters go out every day to put out the flames, whether it is a small fire in a trash can or a large fire in an apartment building. However, according to firefighters, one of the worst fires to put out is a forest fire. KP-Samara decided to remember the terrible summer of 2021, when many large natural fires broke out simultaneously in the Samara Region. More than 5,000 hectares of pine forests were burned in Tolyatti, Kinelsky and Borsky. We spoke with Samaras firefighters who were at the center of the horrific events and were able to deal with the evidence and prevent a fire disaster.

Last summer, the Samara area was rocked by raging forest fires.

Last summer, the Samara area was rocked by raging forest fires.

A photograph: Provided by “Komsomolskaya Pravda”

Fires in the summer of 2021

Samara firefighters unanimously say that the most memorable fire for them in 2021 was a forest fire in the Borsky area. The first fire started on the afternoon of August 21 in the village of Gard, which was located after 2 hours and was extinguished after 4 hours. However, due to the strong, stormy wind, the fire on dry grass from the village spread to the Bor Forest Fund. A strong windstorm contributed to the active burning of the forest, the fire destroyed residential buildings and a relic forest. An emergency operation was launched in the Borsky area, fire and rescue units from all over Samara were sent to the scene of the fire.

– I arrived at the scene of the fire in Borsky one of the first from the leadership and stayed there for almost two weeks. “All this time, together with the fighters, we were trying to reduce the flame so that the fire would not go to residential settlements,” said the Minister.

Forest fires are among the worst

Forest fires are among the worst

A photograph: Provided by “Komsomolskaya Pravda”

Firefighters risked their lives every minute

The difficulty was that the Buzuluk pine forest is a national monument of nature, so it is impossible to clear debris and dead wood in the territory of the relic forest. In addition, in this area there are many peatlands that burn underground.

– There is a risk of soil burning. A firefighter can walk on the ground and suddenly fall to the fiery peat halfway. You will not be able to go out alone, so the fighters walk in groups during the pouring of the soil “, says Alexander Maksimov.

The forest in the Bor area is pine and this is another danger for firefighters. According to the head of the SPT, a three-meter-long pine tree burns from the root to the top in a few seconds, leaving a bare trunk. In addition, if the root burns, then the pine can fall silently right on the firefighter standing nearby. There were times when other firefighters managed to save their comrade’s life by pushing him under a burning tree that was falling.

– In Borsky, the difficulty and the danger were exactly in a strong stormy wind. The fire was thrown from tree to tree, the distance could reach hundreds of kilometers, forming a new source of ignition there, – says the firefighter.

The Samara River flows through the territory of the Borsky region. When the fire started on one side, no one imagined that it could spread to the river and go further into the forest. But that’s exactly what happened, the wind blew fire all over Samarka and began to spread deep into the forest.

Hundreds of people battled the fire every day

200 firefighters and volunteers participated daily for a month in extinguishing a large forest fire in the Bor area. The fighters did not stop for a moment to patrol the ground to eliminate a new outbreak in time. One week after the start of the fire, the fire was extinguished and two weeks later the liquidation was announced. After that, firefighters continued to be on the ground of the burned forest, which spilled peat and soil and also watched new fires.

– Firefighters are grateful to the regional administration and the residents of the area for their help in eliminating the terrible fire in Borskoye. Caring people organized the patrols themselves, they knew the area well, so they helped the Samaras firefighters to navigate quickly. In addition, the command provided the fighters with food and drinking water, and the Borchans themselves also brought food to the headquarters, – the head of the fire service thanked for the help.

Many fighters were not at home for several weeks and their wives and children were anxiously awaiting their beloved husbands and fathers.

Many fighters were not at home for several weeks and their wives and children were anxiously awaiting their beloved husbands and fathers.

A photograph: Provided by “Komsomolskaya Pravda”

Forest fires occupied the Samara area

At the same time, there were other forest fires in the Samara area. In the summer of 2021, the entire Samara guard was working in an alarm state. Samara firefighters put out a large fire in the Kinelsky area, as well as a forest in Togliatti Territory. At Kinel, the fight against the evidence lasted several days and at Tolyatti, firefighters worked for a week. Fortunately, there were no injuries or deaths from the natural fires. According to Alexander Maksimov, firefighters and locals are often poisoned by acid fumes during such fires. Last year, no one sought medical help, but again the fighters lost a lot of health and strength in the fight against the fire by jumping through the trees.

Last summer, the Samara area was rocked by raging forest fires. Samaras fighters were able to prevent the destruction and did not let the fire destroy cities and villages. In the Borsky area, many apartment buildings were completely burnt down as a result of the fire, the Samara district government helped the victims of the fire by providing them with new housing and paying compensation. Under these circumstances, these losses are insignificant, because if it were not for the timely work of the Samara rescuers, the magnitude of the disaster could have been much more catastrophic.

Natural fires create acid fumes that can lead to poisoning

Natural fires create acid fumes that can lead to poisoning

A photograph: Provided by “Komsomolskaya Pravda”

Samara residents grateful to firefighters who saved thousands of lives

The Samaritans express their deep gratitude to the firefighters for their selfless work, courage and professionalism. Thanks to them, hundreds or even thousands of lives of people surrounded by fire were saved. Oleg Boyko, Head of the Central Directorate of the Ministry of Emergency Situations for the Samara Region, also congratulated his colleagues on their professional holidays and wished the firefighters good luck in their hard work.

– Colleagues, with all my heart I wish you further success, vigor, strength and energy in the implementation of the plans, good health, peace and harmony, – Oleg Boyko, Lieutenant General of the Internal Service, congratulated you on the Day of Fire.

The authors of “KP-Samaras” participate in the congratulations and wish the Samara firefighters courage and bravery in this dangerous project.

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