Thanks to joint efforts of Land of the Leopard National Park, Phoenix Fund and Primorsky regional office of All-Russian Voluntary Fire-fighting Society an effective system of forest fire prevention was successfully created in the south of the Khasansky district of Primorsky krai.
In springtime the Earth is waking up from the dream and everything bursts forth to grow but also we face one of the most fire-hazardous seasons. As the snow melts it uncovers the dead grass matter that can turn into a fiery killer in no time.
Thanks to the initiative of the three above-mentioned organizations with the beginning of fire-dangerous season the volunteers daily patrol territories adjacent to national park in the south of the Khasansky district. Creation of the new fire-break to the south of Kedrovaya Pad Nature Reserve from Sukhaya river to Bamburovo village was completed on April 12th. The new mineralized strip became an essential part of fire-prevention measures in the habitat of the rarest cat on our planet – the Amur leopard.
The location of fire-prevention gap was chosen carefully in close vicinity to the national park’s border – the railroad tracks. According to statistics most of the ignitions on this territory begin near the railroads and spread to the protected territory from there. At the widest part the fire-break is about 8 meters broad, however on some sections, such as steep slopes or dense forest area, the width is about 4-5 meters. The only rupture of the strip (300 meters long) is in a marshy flood plain of the Semiverstka river. In the nearest future the team of volunteers will conduct controlled burning along this rapture.
The new fire-break will be an effective barrier on a way of wild fires and agricultural burnings. However, to make sure the Leopard Land is totally protected the teams of volunteer fire-fighters will be on duty during the spring and autumn fire-hazardous seasons.
Earlier the Phoenix Fund initiated a creation of a network of volunteer fire-fighters. In 2012 a mutually beneficial quadripartite agreement has been signed by four state and non-governmental organisations, namely Primorsky Branch of All Russia Volunteer Fire Organisation, Phoenix Fund, Kedrovaya Pad Biosphere Nature Reserve, and Slavyanka Municipality, in order to improve fire-fighting efforts in Southwest Primorye.
Subject of improving the efficiency of the Russian forestry sector was discussed on April 11, 2013 at a Russian State Council meeting in Ulan-Ude. Accordingly we consider that our project allowed to put an effective barrier to forest fires on the approaches to the Leopard Land.
This project became possible thanks to financial support from the Pacific Environment and Wildlife Conservation Society (USA).