Mongolia – Mongolia faces high risk of steppe and forest fires

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Location: Ulaanbaatar – Mongolia

Language: Mongolian

Voice: Natural

Duration: 00:05:51

Source: A24

Restrictions: A24 Clients

Dateline: 29-03-2022

Storyline:

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 phenomena. 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 starts 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. But 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. 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.

Shot lists:

 (SOUNDBITE): E.Enkh-Amgalan, Major, National Emergency Management Agency, Senior Specialist, Fire Fighting Division

“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. The quarantine ban has been lifted this year. And it’s very dry. Therefore, the probability of forest and steppe fires is very high. In addition, cross-border forest and steppe fires are registered with an average frequency of 4-5 times a year.”

 (SOUNDBITE): E.Enkh-Amgalan, Major, National Emergency Management Agency, Senior Specialist, Fire Fighting Division

“The area is shown in red means the risk is very high. Orange-colored northern parts of Hövsgöl and Bulgan are at high risk. The medium-risk area is towards the Gobi steppe looks pink. There is an even lower risk to the south. There is no risk of forest and steppe fires in Gobi-Altai, Bayankhongor, Arvaikheer, Umnugovi, and Dundgovi provinces. Because this area has a lot of deserts. Forest fires are common in the northern wooded areas and steppe fires are common in the eastern areas. Every year, the State Emergency Commission and the National Emergency Management Agency issue official instructions. Horse patrols and checkpoints are conducted in high-risk areas. There are also patrols and posts on foot. This reduces the risk of forest and steppe fires. However, non-sparking vehicles are not used when traveling in high-risk areas. The fire broke out because the cigarettes were not completely extinguished. The fire was accidental. Forest and steppe fires are common because the fire has not been completely extinguished.”

(SOUNDBITE): N.Khishigbaatar, Lieutenant Colonel, National Emergency Management Agency, Senior Specialist, Fire Fighting Division

“Drivers must use spark arresters when traveling in forested areas. They also carry a lot of gas in their cars. Keeping your vehicle in a very hot place can increase the risk of fire. People also throw away bottles of alcohol and beverages in the open when they go for a walk. As a result, there is a risk of fire if the glass is exposed to sunlight. They also light fires to make food and tea. The campfire must be completely extinguished and inspected. There should also be no waste. The law of waste should be followed and disposed of in a designated area.”

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