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Mountain closed due to fire concerns

By Xu Wei (China Daily)

08:22, August 20, 2012

Authorities have decided to close Gele Mountain in Chongqing as a precaution against out-of-control fires, which have become a high possibility during the city's current heat wave.

Chongqing's Shapingba district forest fire prevention headquarters decided on Thursday to forbid non-local residents and vehicles from Gele Mountain, the site of many tourist attractions.

It also forbade the public from starting fires on the mountain or in places near it and temporarily closed restaurants and hotels in the area.

The Shapingba district is one of six districts in Chongqing that decided to close off a local mountain to prevent fires. For some of the city's urban and suburban districts, the meteorological bureau has decided to raise the level of forest fire alert from the fourth degree to the fifth, the highest level possible.

The mountains are to remain closed until the fire alert is canceled.

Meanwhile, Chongqing police denied rumors circulating on Sunday that Zhou Kehua, a man suspected of committing a series of robberies and murders, is still alive and that a man whom police shot on Tuesday was someone else.

In an online statement, police in Shapingba district said results from DNA and fingerprint tests show that the man who was shot dead was in fact Zhou Kehua. "The queries seem absurd and ridiculous," the statement said.

Meanwhile, Chongqing police said they are still conducting an investigation into the places where Zhou used to hide.

Zhou, who has been accused of killing 10 people and injuring another six in a string of robberies committed during the past eight years, was shot by two police officers in a residential alley in the Shapingba district on Tuesday morning.

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