Impossible to involve aviation in firefighting operations in Luhansk region as Russia-led forces don't guarantee flight safety – regional governor
Aviation of the State Emergency Service of Ukraine cannot be involved in extinguishing wildfires in Novoaidarsky district of Luhansk region, as Russia-led forces from certain districts of Luhansk region not controlled by Ukraine do not guarantee flight safety, Head of Luhansk Military and Civil Administration Serhiy Haidai has said.
"Last night we planned to involve State Emergency Service aircraft in extinguishing this fire. Two planes are refueled with both fuel and water. But we made a request to the other side and Russia-led forces said that they do not give any security guarantees. No one will risk people's lives," Haidai said in his video message posted on his Facebook page on Wednesday night.
At the same time, according to him, drones are working in the area of wildfire to show where there are still fires so that rescuers can respond. Haidai noted that the situation with the firefighting is under control and noted the coordinated and effective work of rescuers in difficult weather conditions.
In turn, Minister of Internal Affairs of Ukraine Arsen Avakov stated favorable natural conditions for the final elimination of wildfires in Luhansk region and noted the possibility of using fire aircraft for this purpose, despite the proximity of the demarcation line.
"We have flown over and we do not see additional fires. And, thank God, the weather is good for us – there are no such gusts of wind as yesterday and the spread of fire – we do not see that there is a threat. At this moment, there are three key hotspots that we are now focusing on. The State Emergency Service groups work on all perimeter. And now the decision is made to finish everything, to use fire aircraft, which is ready in Kramatorsk. Our problem is that we are too close to the demarcation zone, and therefore we need to think through some details," the head of the ministry said on Wednesday.
According to Avakov, there are two versions of the wildfire causes, the police are now investigating them.