Smoke from Russian forest fires again reaches Finland
Hazy smoke from the Russian forest and bush fires reached parts of South-Eastern Finland on Monday and Tuesday. On Tuesday morning the acrid smell of smoke was detectable even indoors in some communities close to the Russian border.
The emergency response centre of South-Eastern Finland has received numerous calls concerning smoke, particularly in Southern Karelia and along the Kymi River Valley.
"The easterly wind is bringing the smoke this way. Still, it looks unlikely that the fire itself should spread to Finland", explains duty manager Markku Saarinen from the emergency response centre of South-Eastern Finland.
So far, Russian officials have not contacted Finland with regard to the fires. In Finland, the authorities monitor the situation through observation flights and satellite surveillance.
The satellite images have revealed several individual fires in the Russian Republic of Karelia, covering an area in excess of a hundred hectares.
Despite the unpleasant smell, the smoke does not cause an imminent danger to health or to the environment, the authorities state. The wind is expected to blow from the east at least until Friday, which may result in more smoke coming across the border. Similar conditions were experienced already in May, when brush fires around St. Petersburg led to elevated concentrations of fine particles in Southern and South-Eastern Finland, and helped to keep Helsinki's air quality figures at alarmingly bad levels for several days.
Previously in HS International Edition:
Finnish and Russian firemen take part in joint forest fire exercise (7.6.2006)
Several forest and bush fires raging in Russian areas close to Finland (5.5.2006)