Moscow (AFP) May 13, 2011
Russia could again choke in catastrophic wildfires this summer because the authorities are reacting too slowly to the growing threat, environmental campaigners Greenpeace warned Friday.
"The fires in the forests and peat bogs have started earlier and are more dangerous than last year," said Alexei Yaroshenko, head of Greenpeace Russia's forest programme, at a news conference.
Every summer, fires spread across vast areas of Russian forests and peat bogs. Last year a heatwave led to particularly fierce fires and Muscovites choked on the fumes in August, leading to a spike in death rates.
This month, forest fires are already raging in Siberia, the Urals, and far eastern Russia, while peat bogs are smouldering in central Russia, Yaroshenko said.
"In a week's time, the situation risks escalating in a catastrophic manner... and we will have a repeat of last year's situation," he said.
The noxious smoke could veil Moscow a month earlier than last year, in July, he warned.
Peat bogs were drained in Soviet times to extract fuel for experimental power stations. Once alight, the fires are particularly hard to put out because they continue to burn underground.
Peat fires are easier to extinguish at an early stage, but the emergency situations ministry "prefers to hide rather than react to warnings," said Grigory Kuksin, head of Greenpeace Russia's firefighting programme.
"If the appropriate measures are not taken, we will face the same smoke as last year," he said.
Last year a record heatwave and drought caused wildfires in central Russia to spread out of control, killing dozens, burning down thousands of houses and threatening military and nuclear installations.
Share This Article With Planet Earth
Forest and Wild Fires - News, Science and Technology
Kuala Lumpur (AFP) May 12, 2011
Haze caused by fires burning in Indonesia blanketed parts of Malaysia on Thursday, sending air pollution at its largest port up to unhealthy levels. Skies over Kuala Lumpur were gloomy, and the Air Pollutant Index reached 104 in Port Klang, within the band of 101-200 considered unhealthy. Elsewhere in central Selangor state, which surrounds the capital, 29 other areas had "moderate" read ... read more
Japan SOS mayor vows to save town near nuclear plant|
Tornado damage raises building questions
Quake-hit Japan pottery town picking up pieces
Radioactive ash found in Tokyo sewage plant: reports
US judge sides with Kodak in Apple patent dispute
Silver cycle: New evidence for natural synthesis of silver nanoparticles
NIST super-stable laser shines in minivan experiment
Making strong, tough metallic glass cheaply
First ocean acidification buoy installed off Alaska
Water for Mongolia
Egyptian PM in Ethiopia for Nile talks
Scientists urge ocean drilling observation
Canada PM's Arctic stand 'frosty rhetoric'
States set rules on exploiting Arctic wealth
Antarctic icebergs help the ocean take up carbon dioxide
Change is the order of the day in the Arctic
India's top court imposes ban on 'toxic' pesticide
Drought tolerance in crops: Shutting down the plant's growth inhibition under mild stress
New Strategy Aims to Reduce Agricultural Ammonia
'Liquid smoke' from rice shows potential health benefits
Local tsunami alert after 6.5 quake off Papua New Guinea
US bid to save Louisiana cities from historic flooding
One-eighth of quake-hit Spanish city damaged
Flood waters diverted onto Louisiana towns, farms
Outside View: Kenya mobile banking network
Humanity can and must do more with less
Burkina Faso ruling party says opposition aiming for coup
Chinese army gives rocket launchers, weapons to Sierra Leone
Ancient rock carvings found in Sudan
New method for engineering human tissue regeneration
Indian brides told to put down their mobile phones
Super-healing researcher follows intuition
|The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2010 - SpaceDaily. AFP and UPI Wire Stories are copyright Agence France-Presse and United Press International. ESA Portal Reports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additional copyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. Advertising does not imply endorsement,agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by SpaceDaily on any Web page published or hosted by SpaceDaily. Privacy Statement|