Forest fires threaten Transbaikal National Park - 27 September, 2002

Three fires simultaneously broke out in the Transbaikal National Park in the Irkutsk region, southern part of the Eastern Siberia. The situation is even worse because the fires burn in a mountainous part of the park and firefighters cannot reach for them. Specialists say the fires are badly damaging to the flora and fauna of the park.

In all as of today, 10 fires burning in the Irkutsk region are covering an aggregate space of 1,000 hectares, reports the Irkutsk forest-protection air base. Apart from forestry officers and air patrols, the firefighting effort involves aviation and ground-based firefighting equipment.

The fire-hazardous situation, which is quite unusual for this time of the year, was prompted by a spell of warm dry weather and bonfires that gatherers of mushrooms and berries light in the taiga.

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