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Raging forest fires in north China still spreading
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Forest fires which started in north China's Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region on Wednesday were still spreading due to high temperature and strong wind in the region, the State Headquarters for Forest Fire Control said on Saturday.

About 5,173 people have been deployed to fight forest fires raging in four spots in the Greater Hinggan Mountains areas, according to the local forest fire prevention headquarters.

However, blazes in these four locations were still spreading by 7 PM on Friday, as local temperature in Wuerqihan reached 30 Celsius degrees in the afternoon along with gusts of 90 kilometers per hour.

The state headquarters had asked to put out the fire with the help of man-made facilities despite the unfavorable weather conditions.

Deputy commander-in-chief Lei Jiafu of the State Headquarters for Forest Fire Control has headed for the site to better manage the fire-fighting efforts there.

The region's forestry administration said the fires were caused by the remains of other blazes for creating firebreaks. Strong winds led to their re-ignition.

The region's forests have been at a high fire risk due to little rainfall and high temperatures in the spring.

On April 9, about 3,900 fire-fighters finally extinguished forest fires that had been raging in the Greater Hinggan Mountains for nearly five days with the help of cloud-seeding efforts.

(Xinhua News Agency April 19, 2008)

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