China — The dry weather that has plagued southwestern China since last fall has been the major cause of the frequent forest fires in the region, China’s forest fire prevention authority said Friday.
Statistics from the government agency showed 2,351 fires occurred in the southwestern provinces of Yunnan, Guizhou, Sichuan, the Chongqing Municipality, and the Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region between October 2009 and February this year.
The fires damaged 7,901 hectares of forest, claimed 14 lives and left 31 with injuries.
It 10.8 million yuan worth of equipment and 2.6 million yuan of fund has been allocated to the region for fire prevention work. Some 10 work teams have been dispatched there to beef up fire prevention work.
China’s Ministry of Civil Affairs said Wednesday the drought in southwest China has left 18 million residents and 11.7 million head of livestock facing drinking water shortages.