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Over 10 mln hectares of Russia’s forest affected by forest fires in 2021 — prime minister

MOSCOW, December 27. /TASS/. Over ten mln hectares of forest in Russia have been damaged by wildfires this year, Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin stated on Monday.

“Another important issue which some regions face is combating wildfires. There were many of them this year, in particular, amid challenging weather conditions. Overall, more than ten mln hectares of forest were damaged by fire. In some areas, there was a need to introduce a state of emergency, since [the fires] posed a threat to the safety of people,” Mishustin noted.

According to the head of the Cabinet, while extinguishing fires, especially in remote areas, the regions actively used the forces and means of the Russian defense ministry, the emergencies ministry and the Aerial Forest Protection Service as well as helicopters from private companies. Furthermore, it was necessary to schedule additional air patrols for detecting fires on time.

“This is a serious, and, what is most important, unforeseen burden on regional budgets. It was decided to allocate more than 1.5 bln rubles (about $20 mln) to some six Russian regions,” the prime minister noted.

“We hope that these allocations will help them pay their outstanding amid unintended expenses for putting out wildfires,” the Cabinet’s head said.

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