N. China Threatened by Forest Fires

N. China Threatened by Forest Fires

4 May 2007

published by www.china.org.cn

China — The forest fire in the remote border region ofnortheast China’s HeilongjiangProvince has been brought under control but there are chances of reignition,said local sources.

As ofThursday midnight, the burning fire on the periphery of the blazing site in theHannuohe forestry center in the Greater Hinggan Mountains had been put out, butsmoke could still be seen, said local forest fire prevention headquarters.

According toweather reports, the highest temperature on Friday is expected to reach 12 to 18centigrade degrees and the wind speed may reach 7.9 meters per second. Theheadquarters said it is possible that the fire would reappear fanned by thewind.

Thefirefighters will focus their efforts on the prevention of reignition ofsmoldering fire on the blazing site, said the headquarters.

The fire broke out Monday afternoon in the Hannuohe forestry center and appeared to have died down Wednesday morning after engulfing some 15 square kilometers of forest. But when a strong 50-60 kph wind blew up in the afternoon, it revived and started to spread.

Since the fire broke out, the national headquarters for the prevention of forest fires has sent about 10,000 firefighters and airplanes to the site of blaze.

The provincial government of Heilongjiang has ordered stricter control of inflammable substances.

Lack of rainfall in north China was blamed for the threat of forest fires and people have been warned to be alert of such hazards.

The Chinese Central Meteorological Station has forecasted rain in Heilongjiang and experts believe the rainfall could help put out the fire.

Another firebroke out in a mountain in western Beijing yesterday afternoon and has spread toabout 100 mu (6.67 hectares) of area.The fire, in the Baihua MountainNature Reserve in Mentougou District, was still not extinguished by 10:30 PM onThursday, according to a Beijing Times report.

The fire wasdiscovered in a forestry farm with a total area of 7,000 mu (466.67hectares) at about 3:00 PM on Thursday. Most of the trees in the farm are pinetrees.

 Firefightersand several hundred people were mobilized to fight the fire.

The cause ofthe fire was still not clear, said the report.

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