Forest fire in China’s NW border region spreads

Forest fire in China’s NW border region spreads  

16 September 2011

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China — A forest fire that has been raging since Tuesday in the mountainous Altay Prefecture in northwest China’s Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region continues to expand despite the efforts of over 300 firefighters.

The fire has burned an estimated 33 hectares so far and is now threatening another 6.7 hectares, according to a spokesman with the local fire department.

Major areas of the fire have been extinguished, but new sites continue to emerge, he said.

The needle-leaved and broad-leaved trees are an extremely combustible combination, and steep slopes in the forests have made it more difficult for firefighters and helicopters to approach the fire, he said.

More firefighters from nearby cities have been dispatched to join the effort, he added.

The location of the fire has been pinpointed at 48.47 degrees north latitude and 87.35 degrees east longitude, which is near China’s borders with Mongolia, Russia and Kazakhstan.

No casualties or live stock losses have been reported.

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