Intense wildfires in Ukraine’s frontline Luhansk Oblast take lives of at least 5 [photos, videos]

Photo: the State Emergency Service of Ukraine  

Ukraine

Only two weeks ago, western Ukraine suffered the largest flood in 50 years, and now another disaster is rocking eastern Ukraine. As the State Emergency Service of Ukraine informs, as of 7 July at least five people died as a result of wildfires in Luhansk Oblast.

The fires in the frontline Luhansk Oblast started already on 6 July. The next morning they were extinguished. However, due to the hot weather (about +38°C) and the gusty wind the fire spread. As Serhiy Haidai, the head of the Luhansk Oblast Military-Civil Administration told nv.ua, the first fire could have been caused by arson. However, Haidai clarified that an analysis of the situation is yet to be carried out. 

As the State Emergency Service informs, the fire devastated 100 hectares. 30 houses burned down in Smolyaninovo village, as well as  80 buildings of a dacha condominium. The fire approached the major city of Sieverodonetsk, which is surrounded by forests. 

 

The Office of the Ombudsman of Ukraine informed that 21 local citizens were admitted to hospitals, 15 of whom are children.  

President Volodymyr Zelenskyy held an emergency meeting on the situation with participation of the Minister of Internal Affairs Arsen Avakov, the Secretary of the National Security and Defense Council Oleksiy Danylov, the head of President’s Office Andriy Yermak and his deputy, and the chairman of the State Emergency Service Mykola Chechotkyn

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Units of the National Guard and the Armed Forces of Ukraine were involved in extinguishing the fire. Additional forces of the State Emergency Service were directed to the location from Kharkiv, Donetsk, Dnipropetrovsk, and Poltava oblasts. 

About 360 people and 85 pieces of equipment were involved in extinguishing the fires.

Meanwhile, volunteers are organizing help to those who suffered the fire. Vostok SOS, the leading NGO working in Luhansk Oblast collected the first money aid and provided the first packages of food, drinking water, and hygiene products to the locals. 

 

 

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