China — The government of Nenjiang county in northeast China’s Heilongjiang Province was denounced by the provincial government for covering up and delaying report of five forest fires in the region, said local sources on Sunday.
The five blazes, which broke out on August 10, raged in Nenjiang in northwest Heilongjiang for eight days before they were reported to the provincial government and extinguished two days later.
Acreage and losses of the fires are being counted, and experts believed that the fires were started by people from inside the forest.
According to Jiang Chengyi, head of the forest fire prevention headquarters of the province, local government first tried to cover up the accidents and later attributed cause of the fires to lightening strikes in order to avoid being scolded for dereliction.
Heilongjiang saw 25 fires this summer. While blaming the prolonged dry weather for the accidents, Jiang noted that negligence of local government and lack of preparation were also among the main reasons.
Jiang also warned local government to be alert of forest fires as the dry weather continues and the week-long vocation of the National Day is drawing near.