Storage facilities and malls in Moscow region are on fire: an analysis of fires in Russia (Q3 2023)

Over the last months, almost a hundred fires have been fixed in Russia. This data from the third quarter of 2023 is based on the analysis by the Molfar agency, which reviewed news reports of fires at factories, shopping centers, military and logistics centers, warehouses, and oil storage facilities across the country.


Although there might be a decrease in the number of fires in certain months, the overarching trend is unmistakable. These fires are causing significant economic damage to Russia. This pattern has been evident since the beginning of the year. We reported earlier on the situation in June 2023, a month that saw a record number of 113 fires. Now, with a heated September, Russia has experienced 94 new fires.



14% Rise in Fire Incidents in Russia


Upon reviewing the monthly fire statistics in Russia, it's evident that July saw a significant decrease in incidents. However, the 44 fires in that month are still nearly twice the number recorded in the same month of 2022. Furthermore, the decline could be more pronounced when we compare the three-month statistics. Between April and June, there were 288 fires, while from July to September, Russia recorded 210 incidents.

Number of fires in Russia since the beginning of 2023

As we can see from the chart above, September 2023 marked another spike in fires.

For comparison — fire statistics from the previous year

Since the beginning of 2023 till September, we recorded 710 fires in Russia. In comparison, there were only 414 fires for the entire year of 2022. The trend of increasing fire incidents is unmistakable. From February 2022 to September 2023, the average monthly fire growth rate was 14.85%.


As highlighted in our previous articles, on December 12th, 2022, the Ukrainian charity foundation "Povernys' Zhyvym" (Ukrainian: "Повернись живим") announced the successful conclusion of their fundraising efforts for the "Black Box" project. Subsequently, a report from the GUR (Ukrainian Defense Intelligence) indicated that Moscow suffered losses amounting to 700 million dollars precisely because of the "Black Box" project. 

The start of the "Black Box" project is marked in red in this chart

After the GUR (Ukrainian Defense Intelligence) statement, it's evident that the number of fires in Russia has been increasing by approximately 14.85% monthly. Although this figure isn't consistent and varies each month, there's a clear upward trend in fire incidents in Russia.



Russia's fire hotspots: what and where?


Every quarter, we analyze fire statistics across different regions of Russia, focusing on identifying the leaders regarding the number of incidents. The graph shows the top 5 regions with the highest frequency of fires are evident. These regions in Russia include Moscow Oblast, Leningrad Oblast, Sverdlovsk Oblast, Rostov Oblast, and Krasnoyarsk Kray. Notably, this list has remained unchanged since our last analysis, with the only difference being the number of fires.

Top-5 regions in Russia leading in the number of fires


When we specifically examine Moscow Oblast, it becomes evident that warehouses are the most frequently affected by fires. A similar situation exists in other regions with high fire incidence rates. Fire destroys warehouses nearly 4 times more often than shopping centers and almost 30 times more often than military plants or oil refineries. However, this pattern applies specifically to these 5 regions. Overall, the situation is slightly different when we consider the broader context

What burned most often in Russia

Looking at the overall statistics, the highest number of fires occur at factories, making up almost half of all cases (46.2%). Warehouses are also a significant source of fires, accounting for 34.8% of the total. This is almost three times more than fires in shopping centers, which comprise just over 11%.



General Fire Statistics in Russia Since January 2022 by Categories of Affected Objects

In September, there were almost 100 fires. This is four times more than in the same month last year. July exceeded the previous year's figure by twice as much. Let's consider separately the types of enterprises that are on fire in Russia.

Trends in Fires at Factories in Russia

According to statistics, the number of factory fires has been increasing since Russia's full-scale invasion. The highest number of fires occurred in May of this year — 43. Almost as many in September of this year — 42 fires.

Number of Fires at warehouses in Russia

We also observe that this trend is consistently on the rise, although there was a decrease in July 2023. In September, there were once again 34 fires. In contrast, in September 2022, only 9 warehouses burned down.



Fires at Warehouses with Alcoholic Beverages, Household Chemical Manufacturing, and in a Military Unit


Russians lost their vodka


900 square meters of the 'Russian Dream' burned down on July 26th in Krasnodar Krai. It was a warehouse of alcohol. The Russian Ministry of Emergency Situations reported this, and later, internet publications and Telegram channels spread the sad news to Russians.

65 Russians and 17 pieces of equipment were involved in extinguishing the fire

"The sounds of explosions are getting louder."


This is a quote from one of the fire witnesses in Yekaterinburg. Warehouses also caught fire there. It happened at night on July 12th — Russians woke up to explosions. Red flames lit up over the city, seemingly alarming Russians.

Photos from the scene. Fire near Yekaterinburg

The fire engulfed an area of 1300 square meters of warehouses. According to official statements from the Russian Ministry of Emergency Situations, wooden pallets in open areas were burning. However, it doesn't seem that wooden pallets would explode so loudly.



An industrial building was on fire in Omsk.


The fire on July 4th in Omsk started from the roof of an industrial building and quickly spread to 800 square meters. The report does not mention the name of the enterprise.

Fire at an industrial production facility in the city of Nefteyugansk, Russia

Thirteen units of equipment and 52 employees of the Russian Ministry of Emergency Situations were involved in extinguishing the fire. By evening, the fire was successfully extinguished. Information about casualties is also unknown.



Fire at a military unit


In the city of Georgiyevsk, on the territory of a military unit, a fire broke out in a storage area with goods. It affected an area of 300 square meters. The news needed information about the number of Russians and equipment involved in extinguishing the fire. Still, it was reported that the fire department of the military unit and equipment from the city of Georgiyevsk were mobilized.



Fire at OZON Warehouse Again


On August 20th, a fire broke out once again at the warehouse of the Russian marketplace "Ozon" in Podolsk, Moscow Region. The fire affected an area of 500 square meters. However, Russian news reports indicate no goods were in this warehouse. They also report no casualties. This is not the first time this company's warehouse has caught fire. In August 2022, one of the largest fires we discussed in the 2022 fire analysis occurred. At that time, it was one of the most significant fires of the year, destroying 50,000 square meters of 'Ozon' warehouses.


The increase in fires in Russia can impact its economic and social conditions. When manufacturing facilities, factories, and shopping centers constantly suffer from fires, it can lead to production losses and a decrease in economic activity.


As we can see, this year is setting a record for the number of fires in Russia. While there were just over 400 fires in 2022, 2023 has already brought 710 fires to Russia. This number may continue to increase by the end of the year. But it is already evident that Russia is in flames, and the number of fires is only growing.


In the Moscow Region, where most of the fires occur, warehouses often burn. But overall, factories are the most frequently affected by fires in Russia. In the past quarter, across Russia, warehouses were the primary fuel for fires.


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