Country and world
04 May 2022
A prolonged cool spring this year “postponed” the opening of the fire season in the Leningrad region by almost a month: it started there on April 26. A year ago, until today, eleven forest fires had already been extinguished in the territory of the 47th area, although today, as soon as the snow melted, there were more than 200 cases of fire spread in the area due to fallen grass. And there, as usual, picnic lovers will start leaving the forest again, leaving fires, summer residents will start lighting electrical appliances in houses with dilapidated wiring … In a word, the local fire services, obviously, you will not need to relax even now.
According to statistics, more than 90% of such fires occur due to careless handling of the fire. Last year was no exception, when 423 forest fires were recorded in the Leningrad region in a total area of 334.2 hectares. We have to admit that the area is among the “anxious” in this respect. And this is partly the fault of the summer residents of St. Petersburg, to be honest – as well as the lovers of “barbecue” gatherings in nature and hunting in the forest.
But there are other statistics. The average extent of forest fires in the 47th region has decreased significantly in recent years: in 2021 it was 0.7 hectares. This means that experts have begun to respond more quickly to such signals and the level of their technical equipment has increased, says Vadim Latyshev, head of the department for forest protection and conservation of the Leningrad Region Natural Resources Committee.
According to him, the governor approved a master plan for extinguishing forest fires for this year. Describes measures that will allow the use of all forces and means of firefighters in such cases. And these, these forces, are important: a total of 5.8 thousand people, 2.3 thousand pieces of equipment and 10.2 thousand fire extinguishers will be involved in such work. In addition, more than 70 fire and chemical stations of the Leningrad Region Forest Administration, ten of which are well-equipped mobile units.
“Where a fire breaks out, you have to fight it within the first hour– Latyshev continues. – We set ourselves such a task that, getting to the place, it will be easier to keep the situation under control “.
Although in the Leningrad region the use for these purposes is prescribed, first of all, not by air, but by land, as a rule, it is possible to meet strict deadlines. To date, 470 firefighters and 160 equipment units are on duty in the area. And based on the fire departments of the Kirovsky, Luga and Podporozhsky districts, three forts have been developed to extinguish large forest fires.
Such information is provided by Andrey Ignatenko, head of another section of the Committee on Natural Resources. Representatives of the GKU “Lenoblpozhspas”, notes, interact in this project with the Ministry of Emergency Situations, officials and experts of Lenobles. Together they check the readiness of special equipment and firefighting equipment, train volunteers, give instructions to the village elders, etc.
The list of settlements near forests, which may be threatened by fire, now includes 148 villages and towns. Also under special control will be 39 children’s health camps and 61 gardening, said Andrei Yasukov, deputy head of the supervisory and preventive activities department of the Central Directorate of the Ministry of Emergency Situations in the Leningrad region.
It does not happen year after year: it is difficult to predict which areas of the region will be at risk next summer. But the most dangerous periods, when it burns in many places at once, are easy to predict. The first of these, practice shows, comes in the May holidays, when many people rush to nature. The next wave of forest fires occurs at the height of the mushroom and berry season and then hunters roam the woods in search of prey, Yashukov said.
The experts are, of course, ready for that. And with the start of a new season of fire, they turn again to the inhabitants of the area and the inhabitants of St. Petersburg: do not light fires in the forest without much need, especially when the wind is strong. Do not set fire to dry grass: this administrative offense, incidentally, carries a fine of up to 3 thousand rubles. Although the damage from such carelessness can be much greater.
Check the wiring in the cottages to avoid short circuits and install automatic smoke detectors that react to the smoke. And the telephone numbers, if a fire is detected and urgent help is needed, are reminded by experts, the previous ones: 8‑800‑100‑94-00 (“hot line” of the forester) and 90‑89‑111 (Lenobles control room).
The material was published in the newspaper “Sankt-Peterburgskiye Vedomosti” No. 79 (7162) dated 05/04/2022 with the title “What does carelessness cost”.