Home / Government / News Tools: Save | Print | E-mail | Most Read | Comment
China steps up efforts to contain raging forest fire
Adjust font size:

Chinese authorities have deployed reinforcement fire-fighters to keep wind-whipped fire away from a virgin forest in the northeastern province of Heilongjiang.

The fire started in Yinanhe Forest Farm on Monday afternoon and quickly spread northeast to Yichun City. It has killed one firefighter and injured four others.

Xu Zhaojun, secretary of Yichun city committee of the Communist Party of China, said 1,000 forest police were airlifted to the fire front Thursday, increasing the total number of firefighters to around 7,530. Twelve planes have been sent to help fight the fire.

The fire crews would work Thursday night to bring the fire in Yichun under control, Xu said. But he admitted that wind gusts of around 40 km per hour and dry weather have hindered efforts.

Yichun is home to more than 30 percent of the world's total Korean pine virgin forests and also a renowned granite stone-forest national park.

Local authorities banned felling of Korean pine in 2004 after its acreage fell sharply to 50,000 hectares from 1.2 million hectares 56 years ago.

"The Korean pine forest is a treasure to both our timber workers and the country. We will keep the fire away from it," said Liu Shucong, 21, a firefighter.

The fire has affected more than 20,000 local residents and ravaged 20,000 hectares of woods by Thursday, according to the fire-fighting headquarters.

People living up to 35 km from the fire front were being evacuated, although the exact number being forced to move was not immediately known.

The cause of the fire remains unknown.

Weather forecasters said later Thursday that there would be wind gusts of up to 61 km per hour and no rainfall the following day.

The fire prompted the provincial authorities to issue Thursday a "red alert", the highest-level warning, for forest fire risks in northern Yichun and neighboring Heihe and an orange alert for Mudanjiang, Jixi and Qitaihe.

Chinese Vice Premier Hui Liangyu on Tuesday urged local authorities to keep alert to any fire outbreak and step up prevention efforts, as high temperatures and dry weather in some regions had made forests more vulnerable to fire risks.

Meanwhile, forest fire that began Wednesday afternoon at a forest farm in Greater Hinggan Mountain of northern China's Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region was put out Thursday morning with no casualties reported.

About 2,000 people are fighting a forest fire at Zhaijiazhuang Village in Jiaocheng County, northern China's Shanxi Province. The fire was reported Tuesday afternoon.

Local government officials said neither the temperatures and nor the wind speeds at the site were high, and the fire danger had moderated.

(Xinhua News Agency May 1, 2009)

Tools: Save | Print | E-mail | Most Read
Pet Name
China Archives
Related >>
- More than 6,700 fighting forest fire in NE China
- Forest fire spreads in Heilongjiang
- Almost 1,000 people fighting forest fire in Heilongjiang
- 5,000 mobilized to fight NE China forest fire
- Forest fire breaks out in NE China
- Fights against forest fire in N China continue
- Tibeten towns shrouded in heavy forest fire smoke
- Forest fire out in north China

Product Directory
China Search
Country Search
Hot Buys