Fire near Russian research centre under control

04 August 2010

While Russia continues to be gripped by a heat wave, wildfires have been burning in several areas of the country. Of particular concern has been a fire near the Russian Federal Nuclear Centre (VNIIEF) in Sarov in the Nizhny Novgorod region. Sergey Kiriyenko, director general of Russian state nuclear energy company Rosatom, visited Sarov and declared that the fire there was "difficult but controllable." He said, "There is no threat to facilities of the federal nuclear centre, including environmental and explosion threats," Nuclear.Ru reported. Kiriyenko said that some 3000 people were involved in fighting the fire at Sarov, including 1000 employees of the research centre, volunteers and the military. He noted that four helicopters and four aircraft are being used to tackle the fire and more fire trucks and heavy equipment are on their way. Kiriyenko said there was a need to widen the fire-break area near the nuclear research centre to prevent flames spreading onto the site. He thanked the public for their help in tackling the fire and advised people not to visit forests in the area.