Photo report: "Who, if not us". How ordinary guys from Yakutsk extinguish fires

Forest Fires
Volunteers from Yakutsk went to the village of Magaras of the Gorny district to replace local residents who needed to go out for haymaking. There are 11 of them in total. But this is not enough to cope with the fire.

Journalists of News.Ykt.Ru Elena Alekseeva and photographer Alexey Vasiliev returned to the village where they were a week ago. At that time the fire was approaching the Cheekie area, where the residents of the village were fighting the fire without any help themselves, buying fuel and food on their own money. The head of the village Vladimir Tekeyanov thanked the journalists for the photo report. Thanks to him the situation in the village has changed a little, and help has arrived.

Today, the fire has weakened its former power, but the grassroots fire continues. With the strengthening of the wind, there is a threat that everything will flare up again. The people who had been mobilized are already exhausted, they have been guarding over settlements since June 23, and it is time for haymaking.

In the village of Magaras, the head conducts a briefing about safety rules

Local people bet that the guys from the city will not survive even five days, because even those who come to extinguish fires every year, it could be very hard. They note that the work here is harsh and hard.

The volunteers came for two weeks. They settled in a hut and tents in the area of Syrdakh. District no. 5. There is no connection. They will guard the poles of the power lines so that the fire does not approach them. They need to make a furrow, follow the tractor that does not have a plow with shovels.

First of all, they arranged a tent camp, the oldest ones settled in a hut. The camp is located 30 kilometers from the village.

They will stay here for two days. Then they will be transferred to more dangerous areas, such as Achchygy Yuryakh.

Philip Khristoforov, a 47-year-old entrepreneur from Yakutsk, was going on vacation to Sochi, but he postponed the trip due to flooding. It turned out that his help was needed here, although he had not seen forest fires before.

"My heart hurts, I see that everything is burning, Yakutsk is covered with smoke. I had a choice: lie down and do nothing or be useful here. I chose the last. I am absolutely sure that these fires are caused by people. Now we ourselves need to correct our own mistakes. Who, if not us."

Everyone who has arrived has their own reasons: someone for money, they pay 219 rubles an hour for work, someone for romance. Or someone came here like Stepan Efimov from Amginsky district, to atone for his sins for the forest. "I think it is my sacred duty to protect the forest, to atone for his sins. I am in charge of cutting down trees in the forests. I read on Instagram that there are not enough off-road vehicles. I immediately wrote to them, they replied, I arrived. My car is prepared not only to ride on asphalt, so it will be much more useful here."

The history teacher of the 20th school of Yakutsk city, 33-year-old Svyatoslav Nikolaev, came to become an example for his students. He is sure that only actions can teach the younger generation to take care of nature, things, and people.

"I would like to show by this act that everyone can take part in extinguishing fires. It is necessary to help and respond in every situation, this applies not only to the fire season. In Yakutia, according to my data, there have never been such huge fires that occured this season in history. The main aim is that it does not happen again. We have to learn from this. All people who can and want to take part in the rescue of forests should unite: so that the fire does not enter the territory of settlements, large district centers, Yakutsk city, so that children and the elderly do not suffer. Moreover, it is very difficult for people during covid, we all need to unite. I urge all adults, those who are not indifferent, to take part and help our republic. The worst thing is indifference."

Tractor driver Konstantin Sharshin from Perm came on vacation with his family to his mother-in-law in Yakutsk. "In the evening I was shown this ad, in the morning I got ready and went there. I thought that tractor drivers would be needed here. Why should I sit in the city when my native land is burning. I was born in Yakutsk, and moved six years ago."

Magaras forest ranger Valentin Vasiliev leads a team of volunteers. He notes that there is not enough equipment, and the one they have there, breaks down all the time.

"I really hope for people from the city. Their eyes are shining, but we will see when the work starts. None of them have been to fires before, but I will teach them everything. It would be great if more volunteers come," he says.

On the first evening we went out to extinguish a low-level smoldering fire.

Volunteers from Yakutsk were gathered by a social activist, environmentalist Ayil Djulurga, formerly Ivan Stepanov. One of these days he plans to bring a new band. "11 volunteers came here, there were four times more people who were willing to join. We were forced to turn down all the girls. Firstly, I do not want to risk the lives of those beautiful creatures. Secondly, we did it so that the guys think only about work, and do not get distracted," he says.

After the first working day, he notes that they need quick information from the aviators. There are not enough shovels, axes, chainsaws, satchels and spare parts for them, motor pumps with sleeves, diesel fuel, a plow on the DT-75, as well as respirators and headlamps.

You can sign up as a volunteer by calling this number: 89244628888 (whatsapp).
Payment is 219 rubles per hour, you need personal insurance policy certificate, passport, INN.
To take with you: clothes, a tent, a sleeping bag, dishes, a shovel.