SW China’s Guizhou put out 221 forest fires, including 11 mountain fire disasters that claimed 2 lives
Published: Feb 22, 2024 07:27 PM
Photo: Sina Weibo

Photo: Sina Weibo

A total of 221 forest fires, including 11 mountain fires that claimed two lives, had occurred in Southwest China’s Guizhou Province between February 10 and 21 and all these fires have been put out as of Thursday, the provincial forest and grassland fire prevention and emergency headquarters said on Thursday.

A total of 730 rescue teams with 9,200 personnel from the armed police, firefighting departments, forest prevention department, professional rescue teams and social rescue forces joined in the combat against the forest fires along with 15,000 local people, said a statement released by the firefighting authorities.

According to local authorities, detailed damage and losses are still being verified and there has been no major secondary disasters or accidents to gas stations, oil and gas pipelines, high-speed railways or other critical infrastructure in the province.

Police in Southwest China’s Guizhou Province have been detained 10 people for illegally using fire in mountain areas and sparking eight wildfires that caused the deaths of two firefighters, according to Dianshi News.

Public security authorities in Guiyang disclosed the details of the fires over recent days. Among these cases, three were cause by suspects during their tomb-sweeping visits and two were ignited by unextinguished cigarette butts. Some of the fires burnt for several days before being put out, causing two deaths and affecting forest areas of hundreds of mu (0.06 hectare).

The national forest fire prevention headquarters dispatched a working group to Guizhou to coordinate and direct firefighting and rescue efforts. Guizhou’s forest and grassland fire prevention and emergency authorities activated a Level III emergency response on Wednesday.

A wildfire broke out on Monday near the Huashui village in Liupanshui city and spread to neighboring in Pu’an county. Two firefighters were killed while fighting the blaze in Pu’an. The arsonist of the fire in Huashui village has been detained by police. Local authorities are dealing with the aftermath of the incident.

The Nanming branch of the public security bureau in Guiyang on Wednesday released a statement detailing a mountain fire on Tuesday. A male suspect surnamed Zhang, 51 and a female suspect surnamed Zhang, 47, went tomb-sweeping and used candles during their rituals, which sparked a fire. The male suspect has been placed under criminal detention while the female suspect has been transferred to the natural resources department for administrative punishment.

The Huaxi branch of Guiyang public security bureau also released a statement on Wednesday to announce a mountain fire caused by a villager surnamed Lü, 54, who used fire in this own fields and caused a mountain fire. Lü has been summoned by the police for questioning and the investigation is ongoing.

According to Huaxi police, in regards with the recent illegal use of fire that triggered wildfires, they have placed two people under administrative detention and planned to adopt compulsory measures against another four.

In another case, a man went tomb-sweeping in the local mountain on February 18 and caused a forest fire covering an area of 6.67 hectares, said the public security bureau in Kaiyang county. The man has been placed under criminal detention in accordance with laws.

Another case in Gui’an New Area revealed that a villager surnamed Liu, aged 70, negligently disposed of a cigarette which caused a mountain fire on February 17. Following the incident, Liu turned himself in and the case is currently subject to further investigation.

A 57-year-old suspect surnamed Zhong caused a mountain fire by burning debris in his own field in Guanshanhu district in Guiyang on Tuesday and another 60-year-old suspect surnamed Chen caused forest fire by throwing unextinguished cigarette butts in Xifeng county, Guiyang, affecting an area of 136.4 mu. Both Zhong and Chen are the subject to further police enquiry.

China Weather Network noted that relatively higher temperatures during the past days across the mountainous Guizhou and sparse rainfall have also contributed to an increase in forest fires. Warm weather that has lasted for many days with limited rain leads to dry air, meaning once a fire starts, it spreads rapidly.

Global Times