Residents, firefighters put out Southwest China forest fire

By Wang Yiqiong Source:Global Times Published: 2014-3-9 23:38:02

Armed police fight fire in Fumin county, Kunming, Yunnan Province on Sunday. Photo: CFP

 More than 2,300 people contained a fire that burnt 90 hectares of forest and bush land in Southwest China on Sunday.

Two-hundred-and-seventy firefighters, 250 forest police, 600 soldiers, 200 Kunming armed police and 1,000 local residents tackled the fire, the Xinhua News Agency reported.

The fire erupted Saturday afternoon in the mountains of Chuxiong Yi Autonomous Prefecture's Lufeng county, about 50 kilometers west of Kunming, before spreading northeast into the mountains governed by the town of Yongding in Fumin county, Xinhua said.

Bulldozers and excavators dug fire-prevention channels and 12 fire trucks were deployed to extinguish the open fire, Xinhua reported.

Residents of Kunming's Fumin county helped transfer water to professional fire fighting teams on the frontline, an officer from the forest fire prevention command center of Yunnan Province's Kunming told the Global Times.

No casualties have been reported, a staff member at the Yongding town hospital told the Global Times.

"The town government ordered all organizations to send people to put out the fire," she said.

The command center said the fire burnt dense bushes, causing ecological damage but barely any economic losses.

Firefighters had extinguished the fire in the north, west and south, the officer said, while the east was under control by 9 pm. They were also monitoring the frontline in case the fire returned, he said.

A smaller forest fire in mountains 27 kilometers northeast of Lijiang was put out Sunday morning.

The open fire was put out on Saturday but reignited amid rising heat and winds.

The government sent more than 1,100 people to fight the fire, saying there was no important infrastructure near the area and the fire did not threaten the Yulong Snow Mountain scenic area.

Forest fires have hit the province each year for the past four years.

A fire swept through 200 hectares of forest in Lufeng county in April last year. In February 2013, a forest fire hit Yulong Naxi Autonomous County, northwest of Lijiang.

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