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6,000 People Mobilized to Quench SW China Forest Fire
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More than 6,000 people have been enlisted to fight a forest fire that has spread over an area of 233 hectares in a nature reserve in southwest China's Yunnan Province, government sources said on Friday.

The fire-fighting team, including army personnel, forestry police and local residents, have built a firebreak belt which is five kilometers long and 50 meters wide by early Friday, said firefighting officials.

The fire started on Thursday morning on Cangshan Mountain, part of the Cangshan and Erhai State Nature Reserve, a famous scenic spot in the province.

By Friday noon, 90 percent of the blaze had been extinguished.

"But we fear that the remaining fire may spread as high winds were forecast Friday afternoon," said Wang Dexiang, a provincial forestry official.

Investigators said the fire was caused by children who fled the scene after the fire started.

(Xinhua News Agency March 10, 2007)

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