Victor Yushchenko has urged the Emergency Ministry of Ukraine to improve fire safety in places of possible forest fires by cooperating with police officers and foresters, according to the President’s press-office.

      The President called Emergency Minister Victor Baloha to learn whether his fire department was well-trained and equipped. He also thanked the Crimean EM office for professionally dealilng with a large forest fire that broke out today near the village of Olyva, nearly reaching state residences, particularly the President’s summer house.

      The EM office received a signal about the fire on August 14, 7:50 p.m. Rescuers and firefighters from Yalta, Foros and Alupka arrived at the site first. The fire broke out in a rocky uninhabited area near Ai-Petri Mountain and, due to a strong wind, the flames spread quickly toward Olyva. The emergency crew spared no effort to stop the fire. The operation involved 172 firefighters and much equipment.