All these Attilas, Ghengis Khans, and Tamerlanes roamed the Eurasian steppe looting, raping, and of course burning what they could not haul off. Their descendants live in cities and take a shower daily but will still set dry grass on fire every freaking spring.
A week or two ago fires where mostly confined to the south. Today my attention was forcibly called (honestly, I don’t seek these things out) to the situation in the neighbouring Karelia.
Locals not only start these fires but most stoically face the consequences. Note the most conspicuous lack of property owners in Igor’s photos. Had I not directly observed the 2010 forest fires I would not believe stories of just how uninvolved local residents are.
..I recall a story a story from 2007 I think, when I was living near Staritsa. A house in the middle of a small but densely build neighbouring village got on fire but no one even bothered to dial 112! It didn’t occur to the muzhiks from the neighbouring village in sight to grab buckets, axes and shovels, and to run to help. When I croak and face the Judgement please credit me with quite possibly saving this little village of Izosenki.
Pardon me for switching topics but the talk of impressing Russians with sanctions makes me laugh. A nation that sets itself on fire for the fun of it every spring won’t be concerned with your wimpy economic pressure. We feel our best in the middle of a disaster. I confess that even I, not even an ethnic Russian, in a way feel good when things around are dangerously ugly. My BP reverts to normal and heartbeat regains regularity. We are hard-wired for hardship, and if our craving for disaster is not satisfy we make one. I am unable to issue any positive advice on what to do with us but measures you westerners propose to cool our aggression assume we are like you. But we are not. We thrive on difficulties and confrontations, and your sanctions give us exactly what our warped souls crave.
Here is a selection of 2010 forest fire videos:
At a glance I don’t see any peat bog fires. They are not as spectacular but more sort of sinister, with the forest just glowing at night.
There is an active volunteer movement to put out those fires, and they could use any type of help. That’s why I’m storing this post under Activities > Extreme too.