Thursday, April 24, 2008

Fire sweeps through Siberian forests

Terra Daily, via Agence France-Presse: Russian fire services were on Wednesday battling blazes across Siberia blamed on an exceptionally mild winter and illegal logging.

…State television said the fires were the worst for 30 years and that a lack of winter snow had left the ground unusually dry. Emergency Situations Minister Sergei Shoigu said it was no coincidence that fires were taking place in areas rich in precious timber. Some blazes were intentionally set by illegal loggers, he said. In remarks on national television Shoigu berated his staff for ineffective use of budget resources, saying "no one pays attention to how this money is spent."

Photo of a gulag in the taiga in Turuchansk (Central Siberia), by Dr. A. Hugentobler, Wikimedia Commons, under the Creative Commons Attribution ShareAlike 2.5 License.

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