Mongolia beefs up prevention of forest, steppe fires

25 February 2019

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MONGOLIA – ULAN BATOR (Xinhua) — Mongolian Deputy Prime Minister Ulziisaikhan Enkhtuvshin and Minister of Environment and Tourism Namsrai Tserenbat have issued a joint decree on intensifying efforts to prevent forest and steppe fires, the country’s National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) said Monday.

A lack of snow in most areas of Mongolia in the past winter and the current dry conditions are increasing the risk of forest and steppe fires, the NEMA said, noting that relevant agencies of all 21 provinces have been ordered to take all necessary measures to prevent forest and steppe fires.

Under the decree, a ban on backcountry travel, hiking and other travel or recreational activities in areas covered with forests will be implemented until June 10, according to the NEMA.

A total of 77 forest and steppe fires were recorded across the country in 2018, the NEMA said, adding that the wildfires burned 568,600 hectares of land.

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