Forest Fire in Northeast China Under Partial Control
Five of the 10 fires raging in China's largest virgin forest in the Greater Hinggan Mountains, in Northeast China, were put out Thursday.
With two of the remaining fires close to being under control, only three wildfires are still burning out of control, according to sources with the fire prevention office under the Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region government.
More than 5,000 local people, including 1,500 forest rangers, have been mobilized for fire fighting. No casualties have so far been reported.
The fires, which started on July 27, were mainly caused by lightning strikes. Experts also blamed the incessant dry, hot weather in the region.
Officials from the fire fighting command centre at the scene said that firefighters were confident of bringing all blazes under effective control within the next one or two days.
In addition, all necessary preparations have been made to try to induce artificial rain if and when conditions are right, according to Xinhua reports.
Firefighters are using tools such as water cannons to extinguish the fires, while more tools, vehicles, food, medicines and clothing are being sent to them, another Xinhua report said.
Three is still threat of new fires
The report said there is still the threat of new fires, as no rain is forecast for the coming three days in the region, and winds of force 3 and temperatures above 25 degrees are expected.
Despite the work that has already been done, firefighters are still facing difficulties, the report said.
For example, the areas that are on fire are far from roads, which makes it hard for firefighters to get to them.
Also, the fires are hard to extinguish because it is dry and temperatures are high in the areas on fire and there is a thick vegetation which burns readily and fiercely.
According to Xinhua, the State Forestry Administration has urged relevant departments to take measures to prevent more fires in the northern part of the country, where it remains hot and dry and the fire danger is high.
The administration also urged that fires be reported as soon as possible so they can be extinguished before they spread widely.
Since July, the northern part of China has experienced hot and dry weather and rainfall in the region has been nearly 60 per cent less than in the same period in recent years.