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18 Oct, 2021 10:07

Wildfire Warriors

When we think of putting out a fire, we would typically picture a fire hose or extinguisher. But, when it comes to wildfires, it’s more about muscles, explosives, and lot of digging. This is where the Russian Aerial Forest Protection Service comes in. The forest firefighters parachute into the most inaccessible areas of the taiga. They dig trenches, or firebreaks, to stop fires from spreading or use explosives instead of spades if the site is too big. Backfire is another way of fighting wildfires. Very often, the smoke jumpers brush with death when they get caught inside a fire circle and have to wait it out in a swamp or a cold river, trying not to get burnt or inhale the smoke. In terms of the number of wildfires, 2021 looks set to break Russia’s abysmal record over the past century. The firefighters spend up to six months in the taiga, being redeployed from one fire source to another, without having a chance to go home and see their families. So, how do they survive in such conditions?

Watch "Wildfire Warriors" on RTD website and on RT's live feed. The time of the broadcast is available on RT's schedule page.