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Wildfire Warriors

Russian Forest Spetsnaz on the frontline

The Wildfire Warriors film by RT Documentary shows the excitement and danger faced by the Russian Aerial Forest Protection Servicemen fighting wildfires.
When a forest fire breaks out in the taiga, it can be put out in the usual way. Aircraft spray water to bring down the temperature. But, what stops the fires are so-called firebreaks — trenches dug in the soil to stop the fire from spreading. Sometimes, the area that needs to be covered is too large and difficult to handle manually. That’s when explosives come in.

Backfires are yet another way to stop the wildfires from going any further. Although it may seem strange at first, in reality, it works. The intentionally set fire is controllable. It can be pointed in the right direction, and, clashing with the wildfire, they cancel each other out.

To do that, smoke jumpers parachute into the danger zone and start working. The fire season lasts all summer typically, and very often, the firefighters spend months chasing the fires and only take a break in the winter.

Recently, wildfires are getting more catastrophic. The year 2021 may break Russia’s record. It’s happening due to climate change, abandoned villages, and the collapse of agriculture, which leads to areas grassing over. There are fewer foresters who could navigate the taiga and could make the firefighter’s jobs easier
Still, they stay on the job for decades regardless of months away from home and constantly risk surrounding wildfires. So why are they doing that?