Grassland fires in Mongolia, Russia threaten Chinese borders
Published: Apr 21, 2023 12:18 AM
Photo: Screenshot of CCTV News

Photo: Screenshot of CCTV News

Two grassland fires broke out in the Mongolian and Russian steppes on Thursday afternoon, and have spread to the Chinese border, the Inner Mongolia Fire Department said on Thursday night.

The grassland fires in Mongolia began at 12:47 pm Thursday and spread to the Chinese border around 3:15 pm, China Central Television (CCTV) reported, citing sources from the Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region's forest and grassland fire prevention and suppression command office in North China.

Currently, there are two fire lines in the Mongolia grassland fire, one of which reached Hulun Buir city in Inner Mongolia, but the fire has been contained. The other is developing southward along the border in Mongolia, CCTV reported. The overall situation of the fire is under control.

As of 8 pm, a total of 615 people have been sent to fight the fires on the China-Mongolia border, according to CCTV.

Separately, a grassland fire that started in Russia moved across the border into Manzhouli, Inner Mongolia. A total of 235 people from the fire rescue command and emergency fire department as well as semi-professional fire-fighting teams are fighting the fire at the scene.

The command office is paying close attention to the development of the fire situation, dispatching and guiding the fire fighting, and requesting that the evacuation and transfer of surrounding people and livestock be done effectively, CCTV reported.

The situation of forest and grassland fire prevention in China is very serious in this spring, said the National Forestry and Grassland Administration.

Affected by extreme weather, temperatures in most of China remain high, officials from the Forestry and Grassland Bureau said at a news conference on April 13. Many places have triggered high-level forest and grassland fire warnings, and the forest and grassland fire prevention situation is severe and complex, with higher stage pressure than in previous years.

From April 8 to 17, Inner Mongolia authorities successfully intercepted at least four fires that started in Mongolia and spread toward the Chinese border, China's emergency management department said on Monday.

On Thursday, Director-General of the Department of Asian Affairs of the Foreign Ministry Liu Jinsong met with Mongolian Ambassador to China Tuvshin Badral. The two sides had a friendly and in-depth exchange of views on the cooperation between China and Mongolia in combating sandstorms, jointly promoting desertification control and addressing climate change.

On Thursday, the State Council issued a new document on strengthening forest and grassland fire prevention. By 2030, China's forest and grassland fire prevention and suppression capabilities need to be significantly enhanced, the document said.

Global Times