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State Saw Less Forest Fires

China saw a decrease in forest fires through the first five months of this year, despite experiencing the worst drought since 1990.

A total of 3,138 forest fires were reported in China’s fire-prone areas from January to May, down 44 percent from the same period of last year, Friday’s China Daily said, quoting the latest report released by the State Forestry Administration (SFA).

Only one of those fires, a blaze that damaged nearly 100 hectares, was considered serious. But the report made no mention of casualties caused by the forest fire.

The burned forests, covering 8,911 hectares, decreased 80 percent from the figure for the same period of last year, said the report.

Experts attributed the decline in forest fires to government’s efforts to improve fire prevention and observation measures. This year, fire-control preparations made by the SFA and its local agencies also played a key role in reducing the year’s forest fires.

To prevent major forest fires from breaking out in north and northeast China’s fire-prone areas, the SFA has improved precautionary measures by using satellites to monitor the zones, updating fire-control equipment, intensifying fire-control training for its forest police force of 50,000 and constructing thousands of kilometers of fire prevention belts to keep blazes from jumping from zone to zone.

(Xinhua 07/06/2001)

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