Forest fires hit northern Mongolia

Source: Xinhua| 2017-07-16 17:23:25|Editor: ZD

Photo taken on July 16, 2017 shows the city of Ulan Bator covered in smog which was caused by severe forest fires in Mongolia. (Xinhua/Asigang)

ULAN BATOR, July 16 (Xinhua) -- Mongolia's National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) announced here on Saturday that 11 forest fires are still raging in northern Mongolia and the government has decided to deploy more resources to extinguish the fires.

All NEMA members along with local volunteers are currently fighting the forest fires on the frontline. But they are also facing a serious shortage of fire extinguishing equipment.

Mongolian President Khaltmaa Battulga discussed with Prime Minister Jargaltulga Erdenebat on Saturday the issue of fighting forest fires in the most affected territory of Selenge and Tuv aimags.

The Mongolian government also held an emergency meeting here on Saturday, and decided to temporarily prohibit all residents and tourists from entering forest areas.

The government has also decided to deploy more emergency equipment to the NEMA and make artificial rainfall depending on local weather situations.

Since early July, more than 20 forest fires have hit northern Mongolia, including areas near the capital city of Ulan Bator, Tuv aimag, Selenge aimag and Bulgan aimag.

Hundreds of young Mongolians have spontaneously gathered through social media to join the fight against the forest fires. NEMA has expressed concern over the voluntary rescue and called on the public to stay away from the core areas of the forest fires in case of accidents.

KEY WORDS: forest fires