The United States is working with the Government of Russia (GoR) to outline a comprehensive U.S. response to the severe, ongoing forest fires in the Russian Federation. Russia is home to nearly one fourth of the world's forests, and it is important these fires are brought under control.
"The United States stands with the people of Russia as they fight to contain the destructive spread of wildfires, which have taken lives and displaced many from their homes," Assistant Secretary for Public Affairs P.J. Crowley said, "We are taking action to support the heroic efforts of Russian firefighters and emergency responders as they seek to bring these fires under control."
Americans and Russians share a history of over 50 combined years of cooperation between forestry and emergency response professionals. The U.S. Forest Service, Bureau of Land Management, U.S. Department of State, U.S. Agency for International Development and U.S. Department of Defense are working to provide technical equipment and humanitarian relief.
The shipping of technical equipment valued at $2.5 million to the Russian Ministry of Emergency Situations and the Russian Federal Forestry Agency Airborne Forest Protection Service including personal protective equipment, fire-protective clothing, large water storage tanks, hand tools for firefighters, and other general purpose fire-fighting tools. Total overall U.S. support for this effort is estimated to be valued at $4.5 million. To learn more about the U.S. response, read this fact sheet.
Two C-130 aircraft from U.S. European Command (U.S. EUCOM) and a charter flight from California are scheduled to arrive in Moscow after 6:00 p.m. local time on Friday, August 13. Two additional C-130 flights are scheduled to arrive tomorrow, August 14. U.S. EUCOM is posting photographs of relief efforts here.
The State of California is coordinating with USAID/OFDA to deliver fire resistant clothing, which was identified as a key need by the Federal Forestry Agency Aerial Fire Service.
The U.S. Embassy in Moscow is posting regular updates on the fires and has a link to a live webcam so the public can see the atmospheric conditions first hand. USAID/OFDA has also activated the Center for International Disaster Information (CIDI) to coordinate donations from individuals and organizations. For more information, visit www.cidi.org or call (703) 276-1914.