Valga County wildfire near Latvian border contained at 45 hectares
A wildfire which broke out in southern Valga County, near the Latvian border, on Wednesday spread to 45 hectares, or approximately 111 acres, but those fighting the blaze have confirmed that the fire is now under control and is not expected to spread any further.
The wildfire, which broke out in Aitsra village, Hummuli Parish on Wednesday, was reported to the Estonian Rescue Board from the Latvian side of the border at approximately 2:13 p.m. Fire engines and rescue vehicles from Valga, Tõrva, Antsla and Mustla rescue squads as well as special wildfire suppression equipment from Elva and Jõgeva were sent to the scene, where professional rescue workers were also joined by volunteers from Karksi-Nuia, Karula and Sangaste.
A Police and Border Guard Patrol (PPA) helicopter with water-carrying capacity was also utilized in battling the blaze, and additional help was requested from the Latvian Fire and Rescue Service as well.
“We have managed to surround the fire with a ring of fire hoses, and there are rescue workers located at every point where the fire could continue to spread,” Ivo Piir, chief of the Rescue Board’s fire-fighting department, told ETV’s morning news broadcast “Terevisioon.” “We are keeping this fire contained on Estonian territory; it did not reach Latvia.” Piir noted that their work continued this morning with extinguishing flames in burned areas.
There are currently 15 vehicles and 40 rescue workers on the scene, and fire extinguishing work, which is made somewhat more difficult by the fact that part of the affected area includes swampy land, is expected to take at least two days.
The Aitsra wildfire has not threatened the safety of any people or homes.