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Two WWF-Russia "Falcons" have reached the hotspots of Yakutia wildfires

18 august 2021
Brand new all-terrain vehicles, motor pumps and other fire-fighting equipment purchased with the money of WWF-Russia supporters have been transfered to the regional protected areas of Yakutia (Sakha Republic) to fight the wildfires
The mobile firefighting teams that are working in the regional protected areas of Yakutia (the Republic of Sakha) received new equipment and equipment purchased as part of an emergency fundraising project of WWF-Russia. During the first three days of the campaign, the fund managed to collect more than two million rubles. The first batch of WWF aid has already been moved forward to the front line. 

"The situation with the fires remains tense. The Ministry of Emergency Situations and other forces are working in the republic, but we are fighting the fire in regional protected areas on our own. For 23 years of my work, I do not remember such fires –  says Yakov Sivtsev, director of the GBU RS(Ya) "Department of Biological Resources, Specially Protected Natural Territories and Natural Parks" of the Ministry of Ecology of Yakutia. – I want to express my gratitude to the supporters of WWF-Russia. Thanks to them, we have all-terrain vehicles "Sokol", which are already helping to fight a fire in the natural park "Sinyaya".

In addition to ATVs, motor pumps, walkie-talkies, radio stations, shovels, chainsaws,  etc. have also been taken to the places of fires. The other part of the equipment is being prepared for transfer to mobile teams. 

Mobile brigades have been fighting the fire for the second month. As they thow back the fire equipment fails and wears out quickly, forces and resources are runing out. So the help is needed and the breve firefighters know for sure that they are not alone and feel strong support.

"Thanks to our supporters, we managed to very quickly transfer the first batch of necessary supplies to the regional protected areas of Yakutia, and speed in fire fighting is very important," says Irina Onufrenya, head of the WWF-Russia Biodiversity Conservation program.

Now the new equipment is working on the territory of the natural park "Sinyaya".  There are only 14 people who are fighting the fire in the park, they have a tractor “Belorus”, two all-terrain vehicles and now 2 more ATVs "Sokol", purchased by the WWF-Russia. 

But WWF-Russia supporters help not only with money. Soon, a motor pump will go to the place of fires, which was handed over to the fund by caring people.
"Department of Biological Resources, Specially Protected Natural Territories and Natural Parks" of the Ministry of Ecology of Yakutia
The situation with forest fires in Russia remains challenging. The year 2021 is going to head the list in the forest fires rating of this century in Russia. The total area of forest fires from the start of 2021 till August, 17 amounts to 17 121 303 ha.

“This is more than in any other year in this century in Russia except 2012. But 2021 comes in a close second, and there is a high risk it will beat the record of 2012 and take the lead,” says Konstantin Kobyakov, WWF-Russia’s Forest Program expert on HCVs.

Most part of the total annual forest fires area in 2021 in Russia accounts for Yakutia –  9 855 146 ha. The area of active forest fires that are burning today is 6 929 837 ha. Currently, the fast increase of forest fires area has already stopped as the temperature in Yakutia has dropped and some rains have covered part of the region. However, it is too early to speak about the final end of forest fires season either in Yakutia, or all over Russia.  

WWF-Russia's position on forest fires: https://wwf.ru/en/about/positions/lesnye-pozhary/
For additional information please contact
Director of Biodiversity Conservation Program