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Efforts Urged to Prevent Forest Fires
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Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao has ordered stepping up efforts to prevent forest fires amid global warming and frequent forest fires in the world.

Vice-Premier Hui Liangyu also demanded further improving forest fire prevention measures and fire fighting capabilities.

At a national conference on preventing forest fires this autumn and winter, held on Sunday and Monday, experts said that most areas in China would experience high temperature and not much rain this autumn and winter, which could make the woods more vulnerable to fire risks.

Meanwhile, the amount of combustibles in the woods keeps rising as the country's forests grow steadily in recent years, adding to the risks of forest fires.

Average temperature in the first seven months in China was 1.4 degrees centigrade higher than normal years and the highest on record, said Lei Jiafu, vice director of the State Forestry Administration.

He said the administration faces a serious scenario in forest fire prevention this autumn and winter.

"The tasks are arduous," he said.

The conference asked local forest fire prevention sectors to reinforce their efforts in eliminating possible risks and keep alert to any outbreak. It also urged immediate action in case of fire outbreaks.

A rehearsal to stamp out a large-scale forest fire was staged on the sidelines of the conference.
(Xinhua News Agency September 18, 2007)

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