According to the operational headquarters for extinguishing the wildfires in the Abai region, the fires claimed the lives of 14 foresters. The victims worked at the Novoshulbinskiy branch of Semey Ormany state forest nature reserve, QazMonitor reports citing Kazinform.
President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev met with the family members and relatives of the victims. The Head of State promised to personally aid the families and to establish a special presidential relief fund. June 12 has been declared as the National Day of Mourning.
The fire broke out in the territory of Batpayev Forestry on an area of 3000 square meters. The preliminary area of the fire has now exceeded 60,000 hectares.
Rescuers from Almaty city, Almaty, Karaganda, and Zhetysu regions were sent to the emergency site. Over 1,000 people and 252 units of equipment of the Ministry of Emergency Situations, Committee on Forestry, local executive authorities and the Ministry of Defense are involved in extinguishing forest fires. Eleven helicopters are involved; an aerial survey of the fire front and aerial firefighting are being conducted.
Over 300 people have been evacuated from the area.