Over 1,000 help fight Vikipalu wildfire over 12 days

A burned patch of woods in the village of Vikipalu in Harju County's Anija Municipality. June 2018.
A burned patch of woods in the village of Vikipalu in Harju County's Anija Municipality. June 2018. Source: Rescue Board

Between 10-21 June, over 1,000 people helped fight the Vikipalu wildfire in Harju County's Anija Municipality, including hundreds of volunteers.

Emergency services received a call at 14:03 EEST on 10 June regarding a wildfire that had broken out in the village of Vikipalu.

Upon their arrival, rescuers quickly determined the seriousness of the situation and the emergency response level was increased to level IV, or the highest level. Fueled by wind and dry conditions, the fire quickly spread to an area of nearly 200 acres by the same evening.

In addition to professional rescue units, among those to respond to the scene were volunteer rescue personnel, members of the volunteer Estonian Defence League as well as local residents. A Police and Border Guard Board (PPA) helicopter was also employed in battling the blaze, while an Estonian Defence Forces (EDF) helicopter conducted reconnaissance flights.

Firefighting efforts included teams from 15 professional units, or nearly 450 rescue workers, who were helped by volunteers putting in a combined nearly 6,000 hours of work.

87 people from volunteer rescue units, 62 members of the EDL, 80 reserve rescuers and 304 volunteers.

The Estonian Rescue Board also extended its thanks to people and businesses who allowed their employees to go help battle the fire, volunteers who offered the use of their gear, including drones, ATVs, UTVs and trailers, as well as cooperation partners who offered advice, physical help as well as special machinery.

Editor: Aili Vahtla

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