Aisen Nikolaev, head of Yakutia: Today, the area covered by fire is 10 times less than last year

Head of the Republic of Sakha (Yakutia) Aisen Nikolaev.

Head of the Republic of Sakha (Yakutia) Aisen Nikolaev.

A photo: Evgeniya GUSEVA

My conversations with the governors have already been published on the KP.RU website – Degtyarev (Khabarovsk region, there are fires), Kozhemyako (Primorye, here – flood, Osipov (in Transbaikalia, too, again everything flooded )

On Saturday, July 30, I telephoned head of Yakutia. Here is our conversation…

– … Aisen Sergeevich, hello. Gamov Alexander from Komsomolskaya Pravda. We are worried, you have fires there, fires … How are you coping, please tell us? It’s impossible to get through to you, you, apparently, are on the road, is that what you are doing?

Yes, I’m out…

Today, of course, the situation in our country is much easier than it was last year, thanks to the help of the president and the government.

The area covered by fire is less than 10 times compared to 2021.

– What is it?

– If last year at this time there were already about 3 million hectares burned, 3 million hectares, but now it is less than 300 thousand.

– And how did it work? Have you started to extinguish before?

– Firstly, thanks to the president, funding for Yakutia was increased by almost 5.5 times.

Secondly, this year we are conducting an experiment. We additionally “contracted” with aviation, and since May and June, sounding planes have been quite actively used by us, with the help of which artificial rains are caused.

(At the expense of the budget of the republic, funds were allocated for these purposes 2.5 times more than in 2021.)

In our opinion, this allowed just May-June to survive more or less normally. Now the heat has begun, and, despite the fact that we have alarming reports, we see that in those areas where there were always problems before, the situation is much better than last year.

A very difficult situation on the border with the Khabarovsk Territory.

– I know, Governor Mikhail Degtyarev told me.

– The biggest fires are now there, in the north of the region. This is just the border with Yakutia.

In a large area of ​​the republic, the temperature was under 40 degrees. And a few days ago, quite dramatic events took place, when suddenly, a forest fire that had just arisen, with a strong wind – under 20 meters per second, covered a large area. The fire even spread across the river (width – more than 100 meters).

And we burned down two houses.

Therefore, now a large number of people from the federal reserve have been transferred to us, the aviation of the Ministry of Emergency Situations is working, and our forces are involved.

We hope we hold out.

– Degtyarev told me that the aviation, which is based in your country, even now helps them fight fire.

– Yes, because it takes longer to fly from Khabarovsk to the northern tip of the region to put out fires than from Yakutsk. The pilots who work for us, of course, also help their neighbors.

It’s always been that way with us. We, the Far East, support each other.

– But you said that the president allocated five times more funds. Is it specifically for fighting fires or in general?

– This is for forest fires (that is, for fighting them) and for the maintenance of forestry.

This allowed us to more than double our headcount.

I remember, I told you, Alexander, that in our country, throughout the republic, about 500 people were specifically involved in forests.

And now, thanks to these decisions of the president, the staff number is 1,100, this is both aerial forest protection and ground-based forest resource formations.

– And all the states were staffed, right?

– Yes, and everything is complete, everything works, everyone is now fighting fires.

Moreover, we also, as I said, in the republic, we were able to increase funding with our own funds. We have increased the number of the rescue service, created a special group, which is also actively working to extinguish forest fires.

Well, and thanks to the fact that, on behalf of the President, the criteria for conducting an emergency (state of emergency. – A.G.) were facilitated, a federal emergency is now operating in the territories of the Khabarovsk Territory and the Republic of Sakha (Yakutia). And, thanks to this, now the Ministry of Emergency Situations is very actively involved.

– And what are the forecasts and prospects?

“According to our calculations, we have to hold out for about a week, so that this abnormal heat of 40 degrees is over, the usual temperature for this time would come – 20-25 degrees. And yet, northern cyclones would come with rains, which, of course, would significantly reduce the fire hazard class.

– Understood. Well, okay, your voice is more cheerful than before. Thanks a lot. Hang in there, we’re rooting for you.

– Thanks!

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