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Day of the Founding of the State Fire Inspectorate /День создания органов государственного пожарного надзора: Where There Is Smoke

By July 18, 2010May 24th, 2017Uncategorized


There’s no smoke without fire.

Photo credit: Shutterstock

Today marks the founding of the State Fire Inspectorate, which could be confusing to regular readers who will recall that we have already celebrated Day of the Firefighters on April 30th, the day upon which in 1649, Tsar Alexei (Peter The Great’s Dad) founded the first firefighting brigade.   Today, on the other hand, marks the day in 1927 when the Council of People’s Commissars (I love being able to slot that in) signed new legislation overseeing fire control in the Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic, the precursor of the USSR.

…there is no good emitting smoke till you have made it into fire.

~Thomas Carlyle

And I might leave it there except for the fact that fire is on my mind this week:  the peat bogs outside Moscow are burning, spreading their acrid, foul-smelling smoke into the city, visibility is severely impaired and the sticky soot is everywhere. People who live in affected areas complain of itchy eyes and trouble breathing.  The peat bogs are literally burning under ground, and attempts to put out the fires by dousing them with water are made more difficult by the intense heat we’ve been experiencing for the last two weeks – daytime temperatures of over 95 degrees F.

You never think of peat and Russia in the same thought, until these fires get going. Those who remember the particularly bad smoke from 2002 recognized the smell instantaneously.  The upside is, I now have an olfactory understanding of what J.R.R. Tolkien’s Mordor must smell like.

My heart goes out to the firefighters, and all those trying to alleviate the discomfort the heat and the smoke is providing to people most affected by it.   It’s no fun…

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