Pilots from Russia’s Far Eastern Khabarovsk Territory are refusing to put out wildfires currently raging in the region over pay arrears that top 122 million rubles, the head of the local forest management department Alexander Lyubyakin said on Tuesday.
The majority of wildfires triggered by the summer heat wave in Russia have been put out, but 11 wildfires with a total area of 838 hectares are still raging in Khabarovsk Territory.
“Pay arrears are obstructing the firefighting effort in Khabarovsk Territory. Few planes are being used to douse the fires. Several aviation enterprises have refused to carry out their commitments because of the pay arrears,” Lyubyakin said.
The territory’s deputy governor and finance minister have arrived in Moscow to discuss the situation with the Finance Ministry.
“The ministry has yet not allocated the necessary sum from the federal reserve to compensate for the regions’ firefighting expenses,” a spokesman for Khabarovsk Territory’s forestry department said.