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One suspect detained for Heilongjiang forest fire
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Chinese police have detained a suspect in connection with a forest fire in northeast China early this month.

Wu Degui, the detained suspect, is a mushroom-picker who is suspected to have set more than 6,000 hectares of grassland and forests in Yichun city of Heilongjiang Province, on fire, local police said.

Wu, a migrant worker who was living in a village in the neighboring Heihe city, confessed that he smoked and tossed cigarette butts when he went into the forest to pick wild mushrooms, police said.

The fire was spotted on Oct. 3. More than 4,000 fire-fighters, armed police and local residents fought against the fire for four consecutive days before it was extinguished on Oct. 7. The fire ravaged more than 6,566 hectares of land, including 85 hectares of forest.

Chinese law stipulates that those who unintentionally cause a fire could face detention and even jail terms.

(Xinhua News Agency October 28, 2007)

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