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Source: Government of Ukraine

During a working trip to Luhansk region on October 2, Prime Minister Denys Shmyhal inspected the scale of the devastating effects of the fires that broke out the day before.

According to the Head of Government, almost 19,000 hectares of forest plantations, a number of settlements and 250-300 houses have been affected by the fire so far. “There are several other places where fires are being extinguished. They are localized. Settlements are protected. Appropriate forces are deployed at all borders. 200 ground equipment and about 2.600 rescuers are working on the site,” said Denys Shmyhal.

The Prime Minister stressed that the Stanytsia Luhanska checkpoint was also damaged by the fires. “One module burned out, the rest was saved. There are no significant infrastructure losses. As soon as the smoke disappears there, it will be possible to resume communication within a day,” he noted.

The Head of Government also chaired a meeting with Mykola Chechotkin, Head of the State Emergency Service, Serhii Yarovyy, First Deputy Interior Minister, Vasyl Kuziovych, Head of the State Agency of Forest Resources, Serhii Haidai, Head of the Luhansk Regional State Administration, and representatives of the National Police and State Border Service.

“The conclusions are the following: the State Agency of Forest Resources should immediately develop and approve a strategy for forest fires fighting, as well as to eliminate the possibility of such fires,” the PM said, adding that the said strategy has not yet been shaped in Ukraine.

The Prime Minister made an emphasis on the fact that 10 criminal proceedings have already been instituted over the causes of the fires. Several versions are being considered and they will be unveiled based on the results of the investigation.

Moreover, Denys Shmyhal stressed that the state’s strategy for financial assistance to victims remains unchanged. “The amount of funds from the reserve fund will be allocated as soon as the losses are calculated. A sum worth UAH 300,000 will be allocated for a completely destroyed house, UAH 200,000 for a dead family member, UAH 50,000 for partial damage to the house and UAH 20,000 if the farm was damaged. The region also stands ready to pay assistance from its reserve fund,” underscored the Prime Minister.

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