Fire rekindled in virgin forest in Tibet

   Fire rekindled in virgin forest in Tibet

6 March 2008

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Nyingchi, Tibet Autonomous Region, China — A major fire was rekindled Thursday by gusts of wind and high temperatures at a forest area in the southeast of the Tibet Autonomous Region, local officials said.

Firefighters, police and soldiers were able to bring the blazes, which broke out in the Nyingchi Prefecture on Sunday, under control on Wednesday, but strong wind and warm weather rekindled the smothered fire, said Zhoigar, a top government official in Nyingchi.

The fire had left a four kilometer burnt streak in the mountains, but no casualties were reported so far, he said.

More than 2,000 People’s Liberation Army forces and 400 armed police stationed in the local area are fighting the fire, said Lan Titang, director of the firefighting headquarters and deputy political commissar of the local army forces.

Lan said it had been difficult to hold down the blazes as there were multiple blazing spots scattered across high and steep mountains.

An investigation is underway to determine the damage and cause of the blaze in the forest that covers more than 53,900 square kilometers.

Local government had evacuated more than 300 people from a village less than two kilometers from the fire site at the foot of the mountains.

Nyingchi, about 400 kilometers from the Tibetan capital Lhasa, is covered by dense forests which makes up more than 46 percent of the area.

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