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WWF Russia has allocated 2 million rubles to fight forest fires in “tiger” protected areas of the Sihkote-Alin Mountain Range
Премия рунета 2017

WWF Russia has allocated 2 million rubles to fight forest fires in “tiger” protected areas of the Sihkote-Alin Mountain Range

06 august 2021
Due to an abnormally hot summer, wildfires broke out in the Russian Far East in the Sikhote-Alin Nature Reserve and in the Bikin National Park. Aviation equipment was used to fight the fire in hard-to-reach taiga areas. To compensate these unforeseen expenses, WWF Russia has allocated 1 million rubles to each to the reserve and the national park.
Forest fires are one of the biggest threats to the national protected areas. The conditions for a fire occurrence are unpredictable. Therefore, it is problematic to instantly obtain the necessary resources for suppressing the fire. The inaccessibility of territories requires the use of the aviation. Thanks to the aviation enterprises of Primorsky province, they are ready to work without waiting for the receipt of funds from the federal budget. However, we understand that resources are required to fly around the territory, suppress the fire and deliver people, helicopters and airplanes need to be refueled. That is why WWF made a decision to allocate funds for partial payment for the work of aviation equipment,” comments Petr Osipov, director of WWF Russia Amur branch.

In the Bikin National Park, the largest protected area in the tiger's range of an area of more than 1.16 million hectares, a fire broke out in June this year in a remote mountainous area of ​​the upper reaches of the Bikin River. The alleged cause of the fire was persistently high temperatures for a long time (up to 36 degrees in the shade), as well as dry thunderstorms. On June 25, information about a thermal anomaly in the area of ​​the Plotnikov River, the mouth of the Lukyanov spring was obtained thanks to the remote monitoring information system of the Federal Forestry Agency (Rosleskhoz). On the same day, a group of 2 employees of the national park was formed to get to the place and on June 26, the AN-2 plane flew to survey this area, the information about the fire was confirmed. The fire covered an area of ​​60 hectares, spreading slowly. MI-8 helicopter and paratroopers of the Primorskaya Airbase came to the rescue operation, which made it possible to take all possible measures to suppress the forest fire, and on June 29 it was localized.

All forces were thrown to fight forest fire in the Sikhote-Alin Nature Reserve. Due to dry thunderstorms and abnormal heat 4 wildfires occurred here in mid-July. The first fire was discovered on July 16 and liquidated on July 31; 240 hectares of taiga were burnt. The second fire broke out on July 17 and was liquidated on August 5, its area reached 651.1 hectares. Almost at the same time, on July 21, the fire occurred in another site on an area of ​​452.5 hectares, the fire was extinguished on August 5. The fourth fire was discovered on July 24 and extinguished on July 29, on an area of ​​4 hectares.

The staff involved in fighting fires included 12 employees of the nature reserve, 78 employees of the Primorskaya Airbase, 1 ATV, 2 bulldozers, 1 Robinson helicopter, 1 Mi-8 passenger helicopter, 1 Mi-8 military helicopter. The airbase paratroopers made 39 landings from the helicopter.
Comments Svetlana Sutyrina, the director of the Sikhote-Alin Nature Reserve Fires on the territory of the Sikhote-Alin Nature Reserve are not rare, but in the basin of the Columbe River, on the western slope of the Sikhote-Alin ridge, there have been no fires for more than 10 years. This part of the reserve is the most difficult to access, it is almost impossible to deliver heavy equipment here, and quick delivery of people is possible only by helicopter. Dry thunderstorms caused all of the fires - and this is along with abnormally hot and dry weather. It seemed that in such conditions it was practically impossible to suppress fires in the coniferous forest, but both the inspectors of the reserve and the employees of the Primorskaya Airbase made heroic efforts to stop the spread of fires. Three helicopters were involved in extinguishing our fires, and this is an expensive activity. And here I want to thank WWF for timely financial support. The funds received helped to cover operating costs, primarily for the purchase of fuel for the helicopter. Together, we managed to stop the fire and did not allow it to spread to the most valuable areas of the protected forests of Sikhote-Alin.”
For additional information please contact
Director of WWF-Russia Amur branch