15 Aug 2022 14:12

Russian PM Mishustin tasks regions with halving wildfire area compared to 5 previous years

YAKUTSK. Aug 15 (Interfax) - Russian Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin has reminded regional heads that the fighting of wildfires is a duty of the local authorities, in the first turn, rather than that of the federal center.

He also said at a meeting on the prevention and mitigation of emergencies in Yakutsk on Monday that Russian President Vladimir Putin had signed an order that compels the authorities in regions to reduce the wildfire area in respective territories.

"The fighting of wildfires is a duty of the regional authorities in the first turn. [...] The federal center provides constituent territories with funds and equipment. You have everything you need to make this work effective," Mishustin said.

A government resolution provides guidelines for estimating such a performance parameter as the reduction of wildfire area by regions, Mishustin said. "The primary objective is to at least halve the area of forest fires compared to the five previous years. This should be our goal," he said.

The number of wildfires has decreased by 15% and the wildfire area has halved in Russia year-on-year, Mishustin said. "Compared to last year, the number of fires has decreased by 15% since the beginning of the wildfire season. Meanwhile, the wildfire area has practically halved," he said.