Ministry of Environment takes early wildfire prevention measures

2019-03-13 13:54:16

Ulaanbaatar /MONTSAME/ A working group led by Deputy Minister of Environment and Tourism Ts.Batbaatar is working in Selenge, Khuvsgul and Bulgan aimags on March 11-21. During the visit, the working group is to review the forest fire prevention activities of the aimags, provide recommendations on the prevention of fires to local communities and take necessary measures right on the spot.

As of 2018, some 77 wildfires occurred in Ulaanbaatar and 48 soums of 13 aimags including Arkhangai, Bayankhongor, Bulgan, Darkhan-Uul, Dornod, Zavkhan, Sukhbaatar, Selenge, Tuv, Uvs, Khovd, Khuvsgul and Khentii, burning up to 16639.5 ha of forests, 552020.75 ha of steppe and 568659.9 ha of land. Total cost of wildfire damage reached MNT 39.5 billion, of which MNT 39.2 billion accounts for environmental damage, MNT 155.7 million for property and MNT 97.7 million for fire fighting. Compared with the previous year, the number of wildfires in 2018 decreased by three times and wildfire damage by two times respectively.

As reported by the National Agency for Meteorology and Environment Monitoring, in the end of January about 30 percent of the country was covered with snow. March and April are likely to be warmer than normal, with higher fire risk due to dryness. Therefore, the Ministry of Environment and Tourism and the National Emergency Management Agency are focusing on early prevention, providing warning and recommendations to relevant agencies in areas at highest risk of wildfires.