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Source: Government of Ukraine

Under the chairmanship of the Prime Minister of Ukraine, a meeting of the State Commission on Technogenic and Environmental Safety and Emergencies (TES) was held in order to tackle an issue of mitigation of consequences of forest fires in Luhansk region.

According to the head of Luhansk Regional State Administration (RSA), head of the Regional Military-Civil Administration (RMCA) Serhii Haidai, as of the morning of July 9, the fire in the Novoaydar district of Luhansk region had been localized, there were no open areas of flames.

According to him, more than 1,000 people are involved in rescue operations, there is a round-the-clock duty in the forests, rescuers are provided with everything necessary. “Unfortunately, 5 people died as a result of the fire. In the settlement of Smolianynove 24 houses have burnt to ashes and are not subject to restoration. A total of 59 houses were damaged, 35 of them with various degrees of damage. As of today, 56 houses in the Vovche Ozero housing community have been destroyed. Since yesterday, a commission has been working to make rounds and record all destroyed and damaged houses, the number of injured people.”

The Head of the RSA RMCA also stressed that the regional authorities had prepared observation sites, but people have not yet applied for housing assistance, living with neighbors or relatives.

Denys Shmyhal, in turn, emphasized the need to allocate funds as soon as possible to help the victims. “People were left homeless, many people have lost everything, including documents and money. Efficiency is crucial here,” the PM said, instructing the Luhansk RSA “to record the names of all victims as quickly as possible and hand over this information to the Cabinet of Ministers so that a decision can be made on allocating funding and transferring the money to treasury accounts in Luhansk region.”

According to the Prime Minister, the victims of the fires will receive amounts of compensation similar to those received by the victims of flood-hit western regions of Ukraine: “For a completely destroyed house – UAH 300,000, UAH 50,000 – for major repairs in partially destroyed houses, UAH 20,000 – compensation for losses. Families of those killed in the fires will also receive assistance.”

In addition, following the meeting, the State Commission for TES endorsed commissions to all regional state administrations, relevant executive authorities and local governments to prevent forest fires in the summer. In particular, the responsible services should: establish round-the-clock monitoring of fires in natural ecosystems using remote monitoring systems; to arrange protective fire-prevention mineralized strips around settlements, cottage towns, country communities, etc.; organize the creation and renewal of fire-fighting reservoirs in forests; to ensure the cleaning of dry vegetation in order to prevent the spread of forest fires on residential buildings. In the event of local outbreaks, the relevant structures must immediately ensure their extinguishing in the initial stages. Patrols of the most fire-hazardous forests should also be organized to monitor compliance with fire hazard requirements.

Regional state administrations should coordinate the fire-fighting activities of state forestry agencies, territorial bodies of the SES and other services in the regions. “It is much more effective to prevent than to respond to the consequences. That is why everyone should treat it very carefully and responsibly,” Denys Shmyhal stressed.

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