- Title: Siberian villagers learn to live surrounded by burning forests
- Date: 13th August 2021
- Summary: YAKUTIA REGION, RUSSIA (AUGUST 8, 2021) (REUTERS) CHURCH AND DAMAGED BUILDING SUN SEEN THROUGH GILDED CROSS COWS LYING ON GRASS VARIOUS COWS WALKING THROUGH VILLAGE LOCAL RESIDENT, TATYANA NIKIFOROVA, 63, WALKING OUT OF HOUSE CAT / NIKIFOROVA IN HOUSE SEEN THROUGH WINDOW VARIOUS OF NIKIFOROVA SHOWING HER KITCHEN (SOUNDBITE) (Russian) 63-YEAR-OLD LOCAL RESIDENT, TATYANA NIKIFOROVA, SAYING: "Of course, it is scary. The forest is burning. I feel sorry for the forest, of course. Firefighters all around. They protect us. And our haymakers also help to fight the fire. But it is scary. If the wind blows, it appears too much smoke here." CAT (SOUNDBITE) (Russian) 63-YEAR-OLD LOCAL RESIDENT, TATYANA NIKIFOROVA, SAYING: "We were not ready at all. It is for the first time. We were not prepared for the fires at all, that's the point. For now, we have learned to be prepared for the fire. But we have no fire-extinguisher, nothing." VARIOUS OF VILLAGE SMOKE IN SKY / CHURCH (MUTE) VARIOUS OF DRONE FOOTAGE OF SMOKES OVER FOREST TREES BURNING FIREFIGHTER AT WORK FIRE FIREFIGHTER SEEN THROUGH FIRE VARIOUS OF FIRE (SOUNDBITE) (Russian) 59-YEAR-OLD FIREFIGHTER, VLADIMIR BAYBACHENKO, SAYING: "Our goal is to bring a fire under control. But this fire is so big that it is, let it say, very difficult to defeat it with such small resources. Yesterday, a wind got up, and we became exhausted to battle with fire spreads. We have 21 persons working on 25 (square) kilometers. It is impossible to keep track of the fire spreading." FIREFIGHTER AT WORK FIRE VARIOUS OF FIREFIGHTERS WALKING THROUGH FOREST FIRE FIREFIGHTER AT WORK (SOUNDBITE) (Russian) 27-YEAR-OLD FIREFIGHTER, ALEXANDER ARKHIPOV, SAYING: "Our main goal is to protect villages around. First of all, we should protect them from burning away." SUN SEEN THROUGH SMOKE / POND DOG DRINKING FIREFIGHTER WALKING EQUIPMENT ON GROUND / TRUCKS SUN
- Embargoed: 27th August 2021 15:28
- Keywords: Russia Siberia Yakutia fires forest wildfires
- Location: YAKUTIA REGION, RUSSIA
- City: YAKUTIA REGION, RUSSIA
- Country: Russia
- Topics: Disaster/Accidents,Europe,Wildfires/Forest Fires,Editors' Choice
- Reuters ID: LVA001EQ44A9F
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text: Residents in a remote Siberian village are getting used to their new normal: wildfires roaring through the deep forests in the Russian region of Yakutia.
Russia's largest region of Yakutia is hit by wildfires every year, but they have been particularly intense in recent years. This year's fires have blanketed towns in thick smoke that has drifted as far as the North Pole.
Sixty-three-year-old Tatyana Nikiforova has been living here all her life.
"Of course, it is scary. The forest is burning. I feel sorry for the forest, of course," Nikiforova said.
But for Nikiforova, this village is her home. And she says, despite the lack of any firefighting equipment, she has learned how to prepare.
"Firefighters all around. They protect us. And our haymakers also help to fight the fire. But it is scary. If the wind blows, it appears too much smoke here," Nikiforova said.
Russia's Aerial Forest Protection Service battles with record wildfires in the region but one firefighter said the burning areas are too big and the resources are limited.
"We have 21 persons working on 25 (square) kilometers. It is impossible to keep track of the fire spreading," firefighter Vladimir Baybachenko, 59, said.
The head of the region has linked the ferocity of the fires with climate change and the EU's Copernicus Atmosphere Monitoring Service said the Yakutia fires have emitted record amounts of estimated carbon emissions this year with weeks more of the fire season to come.
The fires, fueled by hot weather, have raised fears about the permafrost and peatlands thawing, which would release carbon long stored in the frozen tundra and drive temperatures higher.
Regional authorities imposed a state of emergency on Friday (August 13).
(Production: Alexander Reshetnikov, Elena Ostrovskaya)
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