China — The government of south China’s Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region issued a fire ban Saturday ahead of the upcoming Tomb-sweeping Day, in a bid to prevent forest fires against the backdrop of a prolonged drought.
According to the ban, tomb-goers are forbidden to burn paper money or incenses and to set off fireworks in forest zones from April 3 to 17.
They are also banned from burning straws, leaves, charcoal and others in forest zones.
Violators will be fined or even detained and prosecuted, according to the ban.
As of Wednesday, the drought, which began in southwestern China last year, has left 19.4 million people with water shortages and affected 6.48 million hectares of farmland in Yunnan, Guizhou, Sichuan, Guangxi and Chongqing, according to the State Flood Control and Drought Relief Headquarters.
It is a tradition for Chinese to visit family graves during the Qingming or Tomb-sweeping Day, which falls on April 5 this year. Memorial activities range from burning paper money to setting off fireworks.
In 2008, the government made Tomb-sweeping Day an official holiday in response to public appeals.