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1,600 people still fighting forest blazes in NE China
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More than 1,600 armed police and firefighters are still trying to put out forest fires in northeast China's Heilongjiang Province, sources with local government said Saturday.

By 6:00 PM Saturday, the blazes in the western and eastern areas have been put out, and more than 1,600 people are still making efforts to exterminate the fire in the northern areas of the forest, officials with the Yichun city said.

The blazes were spotted at 10:00 a.m. Friday in the forest areas between Heihe City and Yichun City, bordering the Lesser Hinggan Mountains in Heilongjiang Province.

About 3,530 people have been mobilized to fight the fire. Local meteorological staffs induced artificial rains to help quench the flames.

Severe drought since this summer and higher-than-usual temperatures have been been increasing fire risks to the forest areas as well as the Lesser Hinggan Mountains and the Greater Hinggan Mountains, the country's largest forest zone.

(Xinhua News Agency October 7, 2007)

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