The upper house of the Russian parliament (Federation Council) will draw up a bill on the creation of forest aviation units in the country in a bid to prevent a repetition of this summer's wild fire crisis, the Federation Council's speaker said on Wednesday.
"These aviation [units] should be created as part of a reestablished unified forest guard service," Sergei Mironov said during the Federation Council's first fall session.
An unprecedented heat wave hit European Russia this summer, sparking wildfires and severe droughts in many regions. More than 50 people died in the fires, which destroyed over 2,000 homes.
In line with Russian law, the Russian Emergencies Ministry is in charge of extinguishing fires only in residential areas, not in forests, so new amendments are necessary, Mironov said.
Earlier this month, Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin said the country would allocate 7.5 billion rubles ($242.5 million) in 2011 to rehabilitate forests and prevent wildfires.
MOSCOW, September 22 (RIA Novosti)