The forest fire situation in Siberia and the Far East has been deteriorating because regional authorities have failed to take enough measures to combat blazes, Deputy Chief of the Russian Emergencies Ministry’s Disaster Management Center Sergei Abanin told reporters.

“The Emergencies Ministry, the Federal Service for Hydrometeorology and Environmental Monitoring and the Federal Forestry Agency provided forecasts to the Siberian regions but regional authorities have failed to take enough measures to prevent wildfires and extinguish them,” he said.

“Let me put it straight: local and regional authorities failed to tackle the situation so the federal government was forced to respond to it,” he stressed.

According to Abanin, the Disaster Management Center pointed out in the spring that the fire situation in Siberia, the Far East and remote areas of the Urals region could deteriorate. “Wildfires have swelled due to a long period of hot and dry weather and an inadequate firefighting response,” the senior Emergencies Ministry official said.

He also noted that the fire situation was difficult in the entire country. Nevertheless, blazes that broke out in Central Russia and the Volga River Valley were extinguished.

Abanin emphasized that no heavy rains were expected in the fire-affected areas that could put wildfires out.

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