Forest fire in northeast China under control

Forest fire in northeast China under control

1 May 2009

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Yichun, Heilongjiang, China — Firefighters have contained a fire that has been raging for nearly five days near a virgin forest in the northeastern Chinese province of Heilongjiang, the firefighting headquarters said Friday night.

More than 11,530 firemen have extinguished most of the flames by Friday evening after a cloud-seeding campaign in the afternoon. About 1,000 additional crews are rushing to the site in an effort to completely put out the fire. Four helicopters have arrived at the site to backup the campaign.

The fire started in Yinanhe Forest Farm on Monday afternoon and quickly spread northeast to Yichun City. It has killed one firefighter and injured four others.

The fire had affected more than 20,000 local residents and ravaged 20,000 hectares of wooded area by Thursday.

People living up to 35 km from the fire front were evacuated, although the exact number being forced to move is not known.

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