The damage from large-scale forest fires in Kherson region is estimated at more than 15 million UAH, secretary of the National Security and Defense Council of Ukraine Andriy Kluyiev told reporters at the venue of holding a special commission on combating forest fires and investigation into their causes, ForUm learned from the NSDCU press service.

Currently, the fire is almost eliminated. There are only small pockets of smoke, Kluyiev said.
The secretary of the National Security and Defense Council of Ukraine said that a preliminary version of the causes of such large-scale fires is arson. "When flying over the area of the fire, it is clearly visible that it was the arson," Kluyiev said. According to him, the police are currently conducting investigations.

"The forest must not be set afire. To build a house, you need a year or two. But to grow a forest, you need 50-70 years. Here, a half thousand hectares of forest burned out in twenty-four hours. There will be no forest in next ten years. Nature must be treated very carefully! We will live on this earth, our children and grandchildren will," Kluyiev said.

Responding the question about a possible connection between forest fire and illegal sand extraction, Kluyiev said that to set forest afire for extracting sand is a real barbarity. He informed that such claims have been already filed to the regional state administration, the Interior Ministry and the Prosecutor General's Office. Kluyiev expressed his confidence that the perpetrators will be punished.

The NSDCU secretary informed that in general, elimination of fires involved nearly two thousand people: the employees of the Emergencies Ministry of several neighboring regions, forest rangers, police squads, army units and local population.


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