Due to heatwave impact the annual number of fire increased by 40% in Armenia in 1980-2012 in comparison with 1948-80. Vrezh Gabrielyan, Major General and Deputy Director of Rescue Service of the Ministry of Territorial Administration and Emergency Situations announced about this at the press conference at EcoLur Press Club on July 2. Vrezh Gabrielyan said, “If we take 1998 to 2009, the number of forest fires is 155. If we take 2010, 2012, during 3 years, the number of forest fires is 169. Do you see the difference between 11 and 3 years. 1196 hectares areas destroyed because 155 fires during 11 years. But when we look at 2010, 2011, 2012 years, it amounted to 1958.8 hectares. This is a pretty big figure. Over the last 5 years, from 2010 until July 1 2015, we had 224 fire cases, when during 11 years only 155 fire cases occurred. This also confirms the idea of 40 percent, which I mentioned. During 2001-2009, 7 annual forest fire cases, while in 2010-2011 the annual average number reaches 50. Vrezh Gabrielyan also said that damage caused by forest fires amounts to 504 million drams in 2005-2010, out of which 500.2 million damage was in 2006. “In 2010-2015 we had 2485.7 hectares of green areas, 4 ha of crops areas and 5.7 ha of fruit orchards areas in Ararat Region. Total 2455.4 hectares burnt down. The most dangerous region is Kotayk. 13273.4 hectares burned area was registered in 2011-2015 years. People reap the field. There is a garden next to it and the fire is out of control. It passes through vineyards and apricot and other orchards, and then with great difficulty extinguish the fire with the help of firefighters and people. The risk of fire spread increases because of dry weather and its change,” Vrezh Gabrielyan said. To the observation of EcoLur what kind of effect has Law "On Atmospheric Air Protection", according to which it is not allowed to burn grassy areas. Vrezh Gabrielyan said, “We have already acquired special devices by our Ministry for extinguishing the fire in forests and vegetated areas. We are able to take a half-ton water capacity by plane and to extinguish the fire in forests and vegetation-covered areas. The Ministry gave us special 100 backpacks with 20 liters of water, which are used for forest fires cases. Special volunteer fire and rescue squads are created in 109 communities. One can call for 911, 112 for fire cases and any kind of emergency cases. You can call, and all our structures can serve, support and help you,” Vrezh Gabrilyan said.
The “EcoLur” Informational NGO is organizing series of events aimed at public involvement and awareness raising targeted to the future climate change policy directions and development of Intended Nationally Determined Contributions (INDC) of the Republic of Armenia under UN Climate Change Framework Convention (UNFCCC).
The material is prepared by 'EcoLur' Informational NGO under UNDP Climate Change Program, within the framework of ARM-002/2015 Contract. The views expressed in this publication are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily represent those of the United Nations, including UNDP, or the UN Member States.
14:33 July 03, 2015