ALMATY, Aug. 9 (Xinhua) -- Deputy Minister of Emergency Situations of Kazakhstan Valery Petrov pointed out on Monday that Kazakhstan's forest steppe fire prevention situation is very harsh this year.
Petrov said at a government work conference held in Kazakhstan' s capital Astana that in the first 7 months this year, there occurred 363 forest steppe fires throughout Kazakhstan, in which 120 occurred in natural reserve areas. Fire burned area amounted to four thousand hectares, and direct economic loss was more than 35 million tenge (about 237,600 U.S. dollar).
Petrov noted that in the first 7 months this year the number of forest steppe fires dropped by 10 percent over the same period last year, but the burned area increased by 19 percent. Fire caused a total of 200 cattle died, 2 people injured.
The official stressed that according to the statistical data in recent years, in August and September Kazakhstan's temperature is relatively high, and rainfall is relatively low, this period is the time when forest steppe is easy to happen. He demanded relevant departments in all areas strengthen fire prevention, avoid people and property loss.
Kazakhstan Prime Minister Karim Masimov ordered all ministries to establish a national forest steppe fire prevention command on the government work conference held on the same day. The command will be led by the Ministry of Emergency Situations and be responsible for fire prevention and fire fighting and rescue work throughout Kazakhstan.
It is learned that, at present Kazakhstan has 1,200 firemen and 224 fire engines and special equipment to cope with forest steppe fire especially. In addition, the Ministry of Emergency Situations is also planning to buy 3 BE-200 multifunctional amphibious firefighting aircraft from Russia.