Shoigu flies over to Kurgan

Russia's Emergencies Minister Sergei Shoigu flew over to the Kurgan region posthaste for the sake of coordinating local fire-fighting operations. The Kurgan region in the Trans-Urals area is now being swept by forest fires.

Sergei Shoigu's plane took off from Kyzyl, the capital of his native Tyva republic located in Eastern Siberia between the Krasnoyarsk territory and Mongolia, at 9.30 a.m. Moscow time, shaping course for the Kurgan region. The plane is to land there at 12.20 p.m., a spokesman for the Emergencies Ministry noted. (Mr. Shoigu attended a visiting session of the Emergencies Ministry's board in the Siberian federal district, while staying in Kyzyl) According to the Emergencies Ministry, regional forest fires have already gutted more than 4,000 hectares, destroying 377 homes in the region's six populated localities and killing seven people. 632 persons, including 140 children, have been evacuated from the disaster area.

Two Il-76 flying tankers will leave Moscow for the Kurgan region soon enough. Mi-26 fire-fighting helicopters can also be transferred to the Kurgan region from Moscow and Vladimir.

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