What does it feel like to see how huge forested area is quickly devoured by fire? Firemen participate in the process of fire extinguishing risking their lives and trying to prevent another tragedy.
The Komi Republic is experiencing summer thunders. The number of forest fires found in areas with hard access increased due to the dry and hot weather. Some fires can be notice only from the airplanes. In the beginning of May Komi saw 180 forest fires on the square of 4 and a half thousand hectares.
Today the situation with fires in the Republic remains rather complicated. 13 fires are observed on the territory of 1500 hectares. Parachute jumpers are here to extinguish fire. They managed to liquidate the largest and most dangerous fire open since June 26. The people are practically deprived of their holidays as according to the forecast, dry and windy weather with thunderstorms is expected again.
The fire found in a remote place located far from an inhabited area was found from an airplane. Komi has over 35 million hectares of land which is protected from fire with the help of aviation.
River is not an obstacle for a forest fire. Wind and air currents transfer live coals across rivers setting the other part of the forest on fire.
Boggy areas prevent people from using fire extinguishing equipment but do not hinder fire shifting. Local forest rangers describe their journey through the boreal forest and spending several days in marshes following the fire. They managed to save several thousand hectares of land that time.
Local terrestrial services remain the weakest link in the system of forest protection against fire. It is planned to create 3 forest fire stations equipped with wheel dozers, tractors and traction engine.
Forest fireproof center was organized in the Komi republic which has over 200 parachute jumpers. When fire season starts, the center attracts over 90 inhabitants of the republic with corresponding level of training or even local citizens who can render help until specialized equipment reaches the place.
First and foremost, fire is encircled with a wheel dozer, then the upper part of the soil is removed and any methods are used to prevent fire from reaching the forest. In case fire leaves a marsh pines take it. Dry moss inflames like gunpowder and is distributed along the forest too quickly to be stopped.
Burnt soil layer and tree roots make areas impassable.
A fire extinguisher and a shovel are the main weapons of a forest fire fighter. The extinguisher contains 15-20 liters of water and is simple to use. Water has to saved here. It is good if there is a water source nearby. It’s 21st century already but nothing better is invented till now.
4 light airplanes are on duty. This is Czech L-200. An old AH-2 is used to deliver parachute jumpers.
The place was on fire 4-5 days ago. It was extinguished successfully.
Advantages of turf moor drainage of the Soviet period. The equal squares and rectangles abandoned 20-30 years ago are now covered with newly growing trees caught by fire today.
A bit of landscape.
An airplane observer is a unique profession. His task is to discover fire in time, evaluate its danger level and main characteristics, take a decision concerning the way of its extinguishing and report about the accident.
The control unit receives messages about forest fires. It works with any kinds of sources available including data obtained from forestries, local population, space monitoring and patrol, etc.
Ukhta, 5296,7 thousand hectares.
Every plane patrols an area of its own.
Location: Komi Republic