Russia’s Far East has begun drafting a list of volunteers to help combat raging wildfires in central parts of the country, a regional emergencies ministry spokeswoman said on Monday. “We are currently forming a reserve force that would help combat wildfires in European Russia,” she said. Any applicant over age of 18 and residing in Russia’s Far East is permitted to take part in combating wildfires.
Over the weekend, over 270 new forest fires and at least two new peat bog fires were reported, while 276 fires were extinguished, the emergencies ministry said. There were 554 fires burning on an area of more than 190,000 hectares (469,000 acres).
The ministry considers the worst areas to be the Nizhny Novgorod region, where 76 fires are burning, and the Kirov and Moscow regions, which each have 49 reported fires.
Almost 1,500 volunteers responded on Friday and Saturday to an emergencies ministry call to help extinguish wildfires in the Central Federal District.
The fires have been burning for two weeks, with a total of 51 people reported killed. The hot weather is forecast to continue well into the week, and the southerly and easterly winds blowing smoke across the capital are not expected to shift for at least a couple of days.
Wildfires in Russia are actively extinguished by volunteers who buy equipment, food, clothes and successfully manage with fire.