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Forest Fires in China on Decline

In contrast to the increasing number of forest fires in other parts of the world, China has reported a big drop in forest fires and in the amount of damage caused by them, according to a national conference on forest fire prevention.

Thanks to effective precautionary measures between 1988 and 2001, China has had on average 6,500 forest fires and 51,500 hectares of forest damages annually, down 58 percent and 94 percent respectively on the level before 1987.

It is also revealed at the conference that since 1998, the ratio of forest fire damage in China per year averaged 0.031 percent compared with the 0.1 percent international level.

According to the conference, China has reached international standards in forest fire fighting. The state has established a nationwide satellite forest fire monitoring network and a well-equipped fire fighting force.

(Xinhua News Agency April 16, 2002)

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