Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao has called for more efforts to
prevent the spread and resurgence of fires that ravaged forests in
northeast China's Heilongjiang Province.
Wen said on Saturday that concerned departments should "seize
the opportunity and concentrate forces" to put out the fire and
prevent its spread.
Vice Premier Hui Liangyu also urged "forceful measures" against
the fire, demanding firefighters to clean up and keep a close watch
on the site to prevent resurgence of the fire.
Naked flames had been extinguished as of Sunday morning after
people spending a whole night fighting the fire, said sources with
the local government.
A total of 4,400 people, including the firefighters and the
armed police, were mobilized to fight the fire, using 99 planes,
389 vehicles and 3,850 firefighting equipments, said the local
The fire ravaged an area of around 65 square kilometers but did
not reach major forest zones. Local meteorological staffs created
artificial rains to help quench the flames, according to the local
The cause of the fire is under investigation.
The blazes were spotted last Friday in the forest areas between
Heihe City and Yichun City, bordering the Lesser Hinggan
Severe drought hit the province this summer and the average
temperature this autumn was higher than usual, posing a high fire
risk to forests in the region, according to the provincial
The Lesser Hinggan Mountains and the Greater Hinggan Mountains
form the country's largest forest zone.
(Xinhua News Agency October 8, 2007)