The Russian emergencies ministry began extinguishing wildfires on Thursday on the Kazakh-Russian border using firefighting aircraft, regional authorities said.
A Be-200 amphibious aircraft, two Mi-26 and two Mi-8 helicopters arrived at the disaster-struck area from the Siberian city of Krasnoyarsk. Moscow has sent two Il-76 planes to assist in the firefighting efforts.
Earlier on Wednesday, wildfires crossed the Russian-Kazakh border and almost completely destroyed the village of Nikolayevka in the Altai Territory. According to preliminary information, 443 homes have already been completely destroyed and 1,166 people were evacuated from the village.
The fire, which spread rapidly in the storm wind on Wednesday, stopped spreading towards populated areas as soon as the wind changed direction, the region’s emergencies service said.
Russian Interior Minister Rashid Nurgaliyev ordered local police on Wednesday to prevent public order violations and looting in the affected areas.
"We must provide public security in places where the evacuated persons will stay, and in fire-affected settlements, to avoid looting," he said.
Over 700 people are involved in firefighting efforts, the region's emergencies ministry said.
The wildfires pose no threat to military facilities in the area, a spokesman for the Siberian Military District said.
Kazakhstan has granted Russia's Emergencies Ministry permission to extinguish wildfires on its territory, where six potentially dangerous wildfires were registered as of Wednesday evening. The country's emergencies ministry said two of its helicopters were putting out fires in the area.
NOVOSIBIRSK, September 9 (RIA Novosti)