Boys spark massive forest fire

Boys spark massive forest fire

10 March 2007

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China — Six primary schoolboys playing with cigarette lighters started a fire that engulfed a forest reserve in southwest China and occupied 10,000 fire fighters for two days, say investigators.

The fire spread over 233 hectares in Yunnan Province after it was started on Thursday morning, and fire fighters only succeeded in quelling it at 5pm yesterday.

More than 10,000 people, including army personnel, forestry police and local residents, joined the battle.

Fire fighters are still mopping up smoldering pockets on Cangshan Mountain, part of the Cangshan and Erhai National Nature Reserve.

The boys who started the blaze are all safe, and are fifth-graders at Longquancun Primary School in Xiaguan town, of the Bai Autonomous Prefecture of Dali, said a public security official.

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