Roman Rudak, Deputy Director of the Department for Emergency Prevention at the State Emergency Service of Ukraine, Media Center Ukraine — Ukrinform.
May 19, 2023, 16:13

5,600 fires in Ukraine since start of this year — State Emergency Service urges compliance with fire safety regulations 

In the past 24 hours alone, 78 fires broke out in Ukraine, covering an area of 31 hectares. In total, since the beginning of the year, 5,600 fires have broken out in the country, covering an area of more than 5,000 hectares.

Roman Rudak, Deputy Director of the Department for Emergency Prevention at the State Emergency Service of Ukraine, made this statement during a briefing at Media Center Ukraine — Ukrinform.

“For example, only today 322 personnel and 72 units of equipment were involved in fighting such fires. In such difficult times, when the state spends maximum resources on fighting the enemy, on eliminating the consequences of armed aggression, or those resulted from emergencies, and today we are talking about fires in ecosystems, where the causes are mostly human negligence, the State Emergency Service is spending very significant resources on eliminating these fires,” he said.

Roman Rudak pointed out that visiting forests is currently prohibited, as well as entering them on vehicles, except for those used by forest management companies to maintain the territories. Also, the representative of the State Emergency Service noted that it is forbidden not only to enter the territory of forest areas, but also to build bonfires both in the forests and nearby, on the roadsides.

In turn, Oleksandr Khorunzhyy, Press Officer of the State Emergency Service, urged against burning dry vegetation, garbage and building bonfires even on private agricultural lands.

He stressed that according to statistics, 200-300 people and more than 100 units of fire-rescue equipment are involved in extinguishing fires every day.

“We have a lot of cases, we constantly record people burning dry grass only to end up burning down a residential building. And people get burned as well. This happens very often. Taking into account the fire-risk period and dry weather, the fire quickly spreads over large areas, and a large number of forces and means of the State Emergency Service are used, in particular, to extinguish and take control of such a fire, to localize it,” he explained.

At the same time, he pointed out the danger of forest fires in de-occupied territories that have not yet been cleared of mines.

“The forests, especially in the de-occupied territories, have not been cleared of mines in many places, and explosives detonate both in the fields and in the forests. There is also a certain danger when a fire is moving, when there is a fire front. This is a risk both for the people themselves and for the rescuers who will arrive to put it out. So please do not violate (fire safety rules – Ed.). Compost – don’t burn.”

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