Fire fighters, local residents and police are working hard in order to extinguish the fierce blazes that are sweeping through forests in Northeast China's Heilongjiang Province and Southwest China's Yunnan Province.
By yesterday afternoon, both fires had been brought under control after round-the-clock efforts. No casualties have been reported, sources said.
On Friday, fires broke out in Heilongjiang, which boasts a large portion of the nation's forestry resources.
More than 11,000 fire fighters were dispatched to the hotspots in Yichun, Heihe and the Great Xing'an Mountains in the north of the province, said Ma Dianhua, an official in charge of the fire fighting effort.
The blazes in the forestry farms in Heihe and the Greater Xing'an Mountains have been extinguished.
Meanwhile, a roaring fire at a forestry farm in Yichun, which had been tamed, was fanned by strong winds on Monday night, causing another outbreak.
"In Yichun, the southwest front of the fire has been curbed and people are combating the burning fire in the northern front," Ma said.
"In the eastern front of the fire, the burning blazes are mushrooming towards the southeast.
"Under the direction of the command centre, fire fighters plan to extinguish the blazes by buffer belts at night when the wind will weaken."
Entering late April, the forests in Heilongjiang were prone to disaster due to a lack of rain and dry conditions, experts said.
In addition, strong winds and high temperatures have accelerated the spread of blazes.
Governor Zhang Zuoji visited the fire site in Yichun and issued relief funds and tenants to local residents.
At the same time, city leaders vowed to allocate more personnel and material to help fight the fires.
Weather changes will be closely monitored by meteorological departments, Ma said.
Precautionary measures must be adopted to ensure the safety of fire fighters and avoid casualties, sources say.
Also, homes need to be rebuilt and emergency relief supplied to those who have lost their possessions in the fires.
On Sunday afternoon, a forest fire broke out at Mount Bijia in the suburb of Kunming, capital city of Yunnan Province, and spread quickly with the help of strong winds.
Nearly 1,000 fire fighters and other personnel went to the site, where several hundred hectares of forest has been razed.
The fire was effectively under control by yesterday afternoon but was under close supervision in case of any change, said Chu Ruming, an official in charge of fire control.
Kunming has experienced rare high temperatures since the start of the month.
During the first forest fire season of the year, more than 30,000 blazes have been reported across China, killing hundreds of people, according to statistics from the State Administration of Work Safety.
(China Daily April 30, 2003)