Mongolia faces high risk of steppe and forest fires

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Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia – UN experts warned that the number of wildfires across the world will rise by 50 percent by 2100 and governments are not prepared to face this phenomenon.

The warning came during the United Nations Environment Assembly that took place on February 22nd,2022 in Mongolia, a landlocked country in East Asia.

The lack of rainfall and dry, windy weather conditions in spring and fall create the preconditions for steppe and forest fires, which occur usually as a result of human action.

The peak fire season typically begins in late March and lasts until June 10th with another period starting between September and November.

Extreme and recurring droughts were also observed in Mongolia, with both the frequency and severity increased in recent years.

E.Enkh-Amgalan, Major at the National Emergency Management Agency and Senior Specialist at Fire Fighting Division said 4 to 5 cross-border forest and steppe fires occur annually.

He ruled out the risk of forest and steppe fires in Gobi-Altai, Bayankhongor, Arvaikheer, Umnugovi, and Dundgovi provinces due to a lot of deserts.

“Since the beginning of 2022, 10 forest and steppe fires have been registered in 9 soums of 5 provinces. According to preliminary estimates, 150,000 hectares were burned,” he added.

N.Khishigbaatar, Lieutenant Colonel at National Emergency Management Agency and Senior Specialist at Fire Fighting Division warned motorists of the danger of leaving vehicles in very hot places which can increase the risk of fire.

Specialists referred to human activities contributing to the outbreak of fires including campfires, throwing alcohol and beverage bottles in the open, setting fires to make food, and not extinguishing cigarettes, noting that the State Emergency Commission and the National Emergency Management Agency issue official instructions annually for the public.

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