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NE Heilongjiang reports 21 forest fires this autumn


09:14, November 17, 2011

HARBIN, Nov. 16 (Xinhua) -- Twenty-one forest fires occurred in Heilongjiang province in northeast China this autumn, but did not result in casualties or severe property losses, local authorities said Wednesday.

The Heilongjiang forest fire prevention headquarters reported the figure after this year's autumn fire-alert period, which started on September 15 and ended Tuesday.

Eleven people were placed in police custody or given penalties for causing the fires, and 33 officials have been removed from their posts or have received warnings for their improper handling of cases, according to the headquarters.

The dry, windy seasons of spring and autumn usually see a spurt of wild fires in densely-forested Heilongjiang. On Oct. 9, a grassland fire forced the evacuations of hundreds of people in the city of Yichun, and more than 2,000 firefighters and five aircraft extinguished another fire that broke out on Oct. 11 in Hegang.

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