Chinese officials fired over forest blaze

Chinese officials fired over forest blaze

27 January 2014

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China — An official resigned and another 15 were sacked for dereliction of duty over a series of forest fires in east China’s Anhui Province, local authorities said.

Tian Hui, head of Anqing forestry bureau, took the blame and resigned after a series of fires occurred in three counties and districts, according to a statement from the local disciplinary authority on Sunday.

The most severe fire was in Dalongshan Forest Farm in Yixiu District where 16 fire points over an area of 15 hectares were spotted. The fire had been put out and no casualties were reported as of Sunday afternoon.

Another 15 officials, including the deputy head of the bureau, head of the forest police and heads of the forestry bureau in Yixiu District and Taihu County were sacked, according to the statement.

Drought, relatively high temperatures and the burning of paper money to commemorate ancestors ahead of Spring Festival contributed to the fire.

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