Forest fire spreads in southwest China

  Forest fire spreads in southwest China

11 March 2009

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China — About 300 fire fighters were struggling to contain a forest fire that broke out Wednesday afternoon in southwest China’s Yunnan Province.

The fire broke out at around 4 p.m. in Haikou Town in the Xishan district of Kunming, the provincial capital.

A strong gale and a steep mountainous road near the forest have hindered fire fighters’ efforts, local forestry police said.

The blaze, with flames of four- to- five meters high, has spread to the nearby Haikou forestry farm, they said.

More than 300 people, including forestry police, government staff and villagers, have rushed to the scene to put out the fire.

An initial investigation showed that cigarette butts thrown by people on vehicles of the road ignited fallen leaves and caused the blaze.

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