In two regions of Ukraine, the forest fires continue to rage. Initially, 400 hectares were engulfed in flames in the Kharkiv region and 1.200 hectares in the Luhansk region; however, the fire area extended hour after hour due to strong gusts of wind and covered more territory.
The force of nature led to tragic consequences and numerous destructions that left the citizens of at least one village without a permanent home. We tell you about the consequences of these fires in detail.
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In a day before a large-scale fire, September 1, the rescuers took out 50 times to extinguish the fire with a total square of about 40 hectares.
Dried grass, rushes, garbage burnt and the State Emergency Service called the human factor to be almost the only reason for the incident.
On Wednesday, August 2, near Kluhyno-Bashkyrivka village, Novomoskovske forestry, forest floor with a square of about 10 hectares caught on fire. The Mi-8 helicopter was involved to extinguish fire.
Concurrently, in the territory of Dvorichansky forestry between Horobivka and Hryanykivka villages, the forest fire occurred at 400 hectares’ square.
Due to the strong gusts of wind, flame extended to the tops of the trees and residential area in Horobivka. Over two dozens houses were destroyed.
Chairman of Kharkiv Regional State Administration Oleksiy Kucher told to 112 Ukraine TV channel that there are no victims in Horobivka.
After the evacuation, the local citizens had to be accommodated in the residence for observation of people infected with Covid-19; however, the citizens decided to stay with relatives and friends.
“We are ready to admit people but currently they accommodate – about 20 people – at neighbors, friends and their relatives,” Kucher noted.
On Wednesday, September 2, the rescuers received information about the fire outbreak of dried grass, rushes and forest floor near Bolotyane village with a square of 80 hectares. The strong gusts of wind hindered the rescuers from performing their duties.
The situation did not change towards the evening. According to the State Emergency Service, it was complicated by the fact that the fire started almost in the so-called grey zone, where explosives can be found.
The rescuers from Donetsk, Dnipropetrovsk, and Poltava regions came to the rescue.
What is burning now and where
As of morning, September 3, the rescuers succeeded to eliminate the fire seat Horobivka and Hryanykivka; however, about 100 hectares of the territory are still on fire.
Almost 400 rescuers and 61 units of equipment work at the site, including two fire fighting aircraft and a helicopter.
The scale of the incident is explained by the number of rescuers and equipment involved in the fire extinguishing.
In the morning, the elimination of six fire seats of dried grass and forest vegetation of 945 hectares’ square continued in Kreminsky, Novoaidarsky and Stanychno-Luhansky areas.
At about 11:00 a.m., three fire seats were extinguished. The extinction of another three fire seats, one of them is localized, still continues.
The consequences of nature force
- As a result of the fire, 22 houses in the Kharkiv region and 13 in the Luhansk region were destroyed. 33 people were settled out.
- In the Luhansk region, a person died; another two were hospitalized with burns of different degrees. A citizen of the Kharkiv region appealed for medical aid due to the poisoning by combustion products.
- Due to the approaching of fire to railways in the Kharkiv region, the plain track Dvorichna- Molchanovo was closed for movement. The passenger trains also do not run in this area.
Reasons for fire
Speaker of the State Emergency Service in Kharkiv region Ihor Lupandin, called the human factor to be a preliminary reason for the fire in Horobivka and Hryanykivka; in other words, arson.
“Concerning the reasons for this fire – it is a human factor. Firstly, preliminary, it is arson; it is a preliminary reason,” Lupandin stated.
The Office of the President also provides the versions of fires in the Kharkiv and Luhansk regions.
“The preliminary reason for fire – is the ignition of the landfill, from which, the fire extended to the forest due to the gusts of the wind. However, the law enforcement bodies do not exclude the arson,” the President’s Office stated.
Aid to affected
The Cabinet of Ministers prepares the decision to provide aid to people suffered from fires.
“The owners of the completely destroyed houses will get a maximum compensation – about 300,000 hryvnias ($10,829). People who suffered less – will get smaller compensation. The special commission will work at the site and it will estimate the consequences of the fire,” Interior Minister of Ukraine Arsen Avakov stated.
The Interior Ministry and Vice Prime Minister – Minister for the Reintegration of the Temporarily Occupied Territories Oleksiy Reznikov, Defense Minister Andriy Taran, and Social Policy Minister Maryna Lazebna departed to Luhansk and Kharkiv regions.