U.S. Responds to Fires in Russia

Posted by DipNote Bloggers
August 13, 2010
Forest Fires Spread Near Village in Russia

More from U.S. European Command:Blog | Photos

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.



donald m.
Virginia, USA
August 13, 2010

Donald M. in Virginia writes:

August 13, 2010

I can still remember years ago when California had those big raging fires...I called from Virginia and asked if they needed assistance, the Fire Chief in Ca...said your calling from where again?...

Laughed from California to Virginia...

I brought up the point that they should be using Military Bombers to fight the fires. After that call, I believe they started mobilizing the C-130 Cargo aircraft loading it with fire retardant material and succeeded in putting the fire out. The thing I would add is why don't we convert Just one of the B-52 Bombers to carry the fire material then you can sand bag the fire and get better results. Plus you can cover more range, land mass. We should have a Big Bomber that can disburse fire retardant material, just in case of those big fires...

If the Russians were smart they can do the same with the "BIG BEAR BOMBER" fill it up with fire retardant material or water and disburse it over the big fire.

Containment is the key in putting out those big fires... normally in the United States they would start fires to remove the fuel so it doesn't spread and control the burning. Smoke is the most deadly in fires...you lose oxygen...20 Percent is what you need to survive.

New Mexico, USA
August 17, 2010

Eric in New Mexico writes:



Putin took off in a Be-200 firefighting plane and then moved into the co-pilot's seat.

...dropping water on forest fires in Ryazan region.


Footage broadcast on Russian television showed the prime minister asking the pilot: "Was that OK?"

The pilot replied: "A direct hit."


I don't know about the rest of Russian internal politics, governing, or getting the job done... but it seems Putin's attitude is "Never ask of your commrad what you're not willing to do yourself."

OK, lead by example...cool.

(on the flip side, how often do world leaders actually get to "bomb" something personally, and be the hero?)


He siezed the moment...

gotta love it.

Patrick W.
Maryland, USA
August 17, 2010

Patrick W. in Maryland writes:

After see the photos of the villages burned homes and everthing they owned burned up. Which i found out about on the web. It's very sad to see people homeless. Even if you don't like their government, that has nothing to do with the poor people of these Villages.

It's like people in California losing their homes to forest fire. I felt bad for them.

So, I hope they are able to rebuild their homes better then they where before.

I wish the people of Russia well ,in their recovery form this tragic event.:)

keith h.
August 20, 2010

Keith H. in Germany writes:

I would like to thank the US Embassy on all the work done to help us bring in the equipment. I was on the first aircraft in and it was a bit hectic getting everything coordinated.


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