How intense are the fires this year?

“Now the number of fires is commensurate with last year, but the area of ​​forests covered by fire is less than in the same period of 2021.

At the same time, the May holidays are a busy period for us, the number of fires these days is always growing.

People get out into nature to fry kebabs and relax.

But the main cause of fire hazard situations is the burning of grass in summer cottages and in fields and meadows adjacent to settlements.

In almost 100% of cases, fires occur in the spring due to unauthorized burning of dry grass or violation of safety rules in areas adjacent to the forest.

  • Eliminating the fire by employees of "Avialesookhrana"

- Is there any reason to fear that last year's situation with fires in Yakutia will repeat in Russia?

Or is it too early to make forecasts for the summer?

— Unfortunately, such a situation can arise in any region of the Russian Federation.

Another cause of fires can be considered climate change, this process is proceeding rapidly.

So, a few decades ago, forests did not burn outside the permafrost, but last year fires engulfed Yakutia, including forest areas in the permafrost zone.

This indicates a global change in climatic conditions: now the snows of Siberia are melting in the spring earlier than usual.

Consequently, the soil warms up earlier, the conditions for the occurrence of forest fires appear.

The regions that are now in danger are the same Yakutia, the Trans-Baikal Territory, the Krasnoyarsk Territory, the Amur Region, the Primorsky Territory, the Jewish Autonomous Region, the Irkutsk Region, Khakassia, the Kurgan Region and Buryatia.

Special attention is paid to these subjects: on the territory of Yakutia, in particular, the Yakut aviation department of the FBU "Avialesookhrana" operates, consisting of 50 people.

This year, the number of local aviation forest protection has also increased, additional aviation departments have been created in the north of the republic.

Now work is being done ahead of the curve: this year, the Federal Headquarters for the Coordination of Activities to Fight Forest Fires has strengthened control over the situation in the regions, in addition, funding for specialized forest protection structures has been doubled.

It is expected that these funds will be rationally distributed, and we will go through the fire season more prepared.


  • © Fabian Heigel / EyeEm

- The fact that you should not burn dry grass, throw cigarette butts in the forest, etc. has been talked about for a long time and everywhere.

But are people heeding these calls?

- In Russia, from March 15 to October 1, the Federal Information Campaign "Stop the Fire" is being held.

Within its framework, six federal channels broadcast videos about the ban on dead grass, as well as about fire safety rules in the forest.

In addition, conversations are held with the population and open lessons in schools.

The elementary rules related to the observance of fire safety in the forest should be explained to children from preschool age, while at school additional programs should be introduced within the framework of the subject “life safety”.

Unfortunately, many Russians treat fire safety rules in nature rather lightly, since the fines for violating them are small.

If in the neighboring European countries in the space monitoring system, with the help of which we monitor fires, there are practically no cases of ignition, then, for example, the Kaliningrad region in early spring is annually covered with thermodots from dry grass fires.

The same situation is observed in other Russian regions.

  • An employee of Avialesookhrana of the Republic of Buryatia during the elimination of a natural forest fire in the Kabansky district of Buryatia with the help of a bulldozer

  • RIA News

  • © Valery Melnikov

“But forest fires have already been recorded in other countries, for example, in the southwestern United States.

Are forest fire prevention methods different in Russia and other countries?

- Forest fires occur and will occur in America, and in Australia, and in Europe - this is facilitated by climate change and the peculiarities of local approaches to extinguishing fires.

In the United States, the first step is to evacuate the population, because, due to climatic reasons and terrain features, fires flare up much faster in them.

They are not engaged in active extinguishing, but first of all they are trying to ensure the safety of settlements.

The Russian method of fighting fires is aimed at early detection of the source of fire.

The forest is patrolled from the An-2 aircraft, on board of which there are six Avialesookhrana fire paratroopers.

After a fire is detected by an observer pilot, paratroopers are dropped, who immediately begin to localize the fire.

Thus, we have the opportunity to neutralize the fire in the first day.

Often, ground transport with a team of three or four people is also connected to the extinguishing - a cargo-and-passenger MLPC (small forest patrol complex), which has the necessary equipment.

The Americans and Canadians also fly reconnaissance aircraft.

The pilot reports the discovery of a fire, after which a fire extinguishing team is sent there.

But such a scheme leads to a loss of time - the Russian response system is more efficient.

In addition, unlike other countries, Russia has hard-to-reach regions where there are simply no roads: Yakutia, the north of the Krasnoyarsk Territory, Chukotka, Kamchatka, a number of regions of the Amur Region and the Trans-Baikal Territory.

It cannot be reached either by land transport or even by aviation, since a helicopter or plane does not have enough fuel to fly to its destination and return back.

Extinguishing fire in such areas is carried out with the help of artificial induction of precipitation - if resource cloudiness allows.

Silver iodide is used to make rain.

The reagent is delivered to the cloud using special squibs - they are released through a special Fan installation installed on the outer shell of the aircraft.

  • Landing paratroopers

Shots are fired at an altitude of about five kilometers.

This is a very effective tool - for example, last year, this technology was used in 70% of cases of extinguishing forest fires in Yakutia, the Krasnoyarsk Territory and Transbaikalia.

However, the main work is still performed by paratroopers-firefighters and paratroopers-firefighters.

The discharge of water by tankers or the artificial induction of precipitation only help to reduce the intensity of the fire, but it is completely eliminated by people.

You mentioned the link between wildfire intensity and global warming.

How exactly does climate change affect?

- This is a long-standing phenomenon associated with the so-called 11-year cycles of solar activity.

At the peak of this activity, the solar prominences cause a powerful wave of solar dust that spreads to all nearby planets.

And during this period, a sharp increase in temperature is observed on Earth, various cataclysms occur, including fires.

Moreover, there are also 33-year cycles of solar activity.

All this affects the situation with fires - in recent decades in the world and in Russia there has been an increase in their number.

However, the main culprit of forest fires is a person.

So, spring fires in 100% of cases start due to human negligence.

Another reason is thunderstorms.

Due to lightning activity in the summer in Siberia and the Far East, from 10% to 60% of all fires can occur.

It must be understood that there are three factors in the occurrence of a fire.

The first is the presence of combustible materials.

The second is the source of fire.

And the third is the conditions under which fire can arise.

If you remove at least one of these items, then there will be no fire.

Preventive work is carried out annually: firebreaks and firebreaks are created.

In some regions, forest areas are planted that do not ignite or are more resistant to fire.

And, of course, you have to work with people.

Let me give you an example: horse breeding is very developed in Yakutia, and pastures for horses are mainly cleared with the help of dry grass.

This is more profitable than mowing the fields.

Local authorities enforced a federal ban on community burning dry grass in one year.

And during that period, the number of fires was reduced.

— The largest area of ​​fires in the modern history of Russia was observed in 2018.

How has the forest ecosystem changed since then?

— Of course, clearings and burnt areas quickly transform the ecosystem, but not necessarily for the worse.

After fires, the forest is restored according to the patterns common to the area.

The balance here is maintained by nature itself.

Our task is not to interfere thoughtlessly in this process, but to competently help.

Now in Russia there is an action "Garden of Memory" - we ask all Russians to take part in planting forests, including at the site of fires.

Two-year-old seedlings are planted, after two or three years they gain strength and become young trees.

A complete restoration of the forest takes from 10 to 20 years.

When young trees grow so large that their crowns close together, the site is transferred to the category of "wooded area".


  • © Evgeny Kanaev

— What is the role of forestries in preventing forest fires?

- Regional forest services are the first to respond to a fire.

They play an important role in detecting fires - this is done by forestry and tree planting workers.

Forestries also contribute to the prevention of fires - they are the ones who are engaged in fire-fighting arrangement of territories so that the flame, if it occurs, could not spread far.

In addition, forestries perform control functions.

Indeed, loggers also work on their territory, who are obliged not only to participate in extinguishing forest fires, but also to take measures for the fire-fighting arrangement of their territory.

  • Extinguishing a fire by employees of Avialesookhrana

- What methods are being developed and implemented today in the field of extinguishing and preventing fires?

- Firstly, this is the use of the explosive method of laying fire-prevention mineralized strips at a distance from settlements, in hard-to-reach areas.

Previously, one forest firefighter had to lay about a kilometer of such a strip per day.

Now more and more often use a detonating cord.

The second method, of which we have already spoken, is the artificial induction of precipitation.

Another direction is the use of drones for monitoring already during the extinguishing of a fire - a drone can be sent to places where, for example, it is difficult for a person to pass because of fallen trees.

Strips of deciduous trees are also planted, which are more fire resistant than conifers.

Separately, I note that a new light multi-purpose turboprop single-engine aircraft LMS-901 Baikal is being created in Novosibirsk, which will have to replace the An-2.

The new car has a more powerful engine and has already passed its first flight tests.

— In your opinion, how can the situation with forest fires change in the future?

“When we begin to understand that every single match thrown into a match can lead to catastrophic consequences, then the situation with forest fires will really change for the better.