Mentally ill man blamed for starting SW China forest fire

13:30, March 09, 2011      

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Police say a mentally ill man is to blame for a forest fire in southwest China's Yunnan Province that raged for a day before being extinguished Wednesday morning.

The man wandered into a forest of Baoshan City and lit a fire with his lighter around 11 a.m. Tuesday, local police said.

It quickly spread engulfing 400 mu (26.7 hectares) of forest and threatened a 300-year-old Buddhist temple nearby.

Around 1,500 people and one helicopter fought the fire which was put out by 8 a.m. Wednesday.

No causalities have been reported, and the fire did not damage the temple.

The fire in Baoshan is the latest wildfire to hit Yunnan during its dry season this year. Earlier this month, a forest fire in its Jianchuan County claimed the lives of nine fire-fighters.

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Source: Xinhua

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