Downpour lifts border wildfire threat in Inner Mongolia

10:07, June 23, 2011      

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Heavy rains have swept grasslands on the China-Mongolia border's eastern section, lifting the threat of a prairie fire spreading from Mongolia to north China's Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region.

The sudden rainstorm hit the East Ujimqin Banner (County) on Wednesday afternoon, according to a local public security border detachment, which has been on the alert for the grassland fire.

"The wind's direction has changed and the fire has turned back toward Mongolia," said Bai Yinshan, deputy director of the local police station under the Xilingol League's border detachment.

Firefighters and border police started to withdraw from the border on Tuesday as the fire started to wind down, said Bai.

The prairie fire initially occurred on Monday in eastern Mongolia.

The fire then spread across the Sino-Mongolian border, setting fire to about 200 hectares of Chinese grasslands. This led to thousands of wild Mongolian gazelles breaking through barbed wire barricades and crossing the border.

The border detachment will continue to monitor the fire, according to Bai.

No deaths or property loss attributable to the fire have been reported so far.

Source: Xinhua
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