2 Aug 2019 20:13

Russia's forest fires cause losses of 2.4 bln rubles in 6 months - Audit Chamber

MOSCOW. Aug 2 (Interfax) - The Audit Chamber has put its estimate of losses from forest fires in the first half-year at 2.4 billion rubles, mainly due to the lack of funding and a comprehensive approach to the issue.

"The Audit Chamber is constantly monitoring the forest fire situation at the behest of the Russian president. In the first six months of 2019, some 7,600 forest fires erupted, leading to losses of 2.4 billion rubles," the agency wrote on Facebook.

The main causes of the situation, revealed during latest inspections, include lack of funding, absence of necessary equipment, poorly equipped ground- and aerial forest protection forces in the regions, and tenants' failure to ensure proper fire safety measures in place, the oversight agency said.

As of August 1, wildfires were covering over 3 million hectares in Russia.