Sat, May 02, 2009
China > Mainland

Forest fire in northeast China under control

2009-05-01 16:16:51 GMT2009-05-02 00:16:51 (Beijing Time)  Xinhua English

Fire fighters try to put out forest fire in Xunke County's Dapingtai township, northeast China's Heilongjiang Province, April 30, 2009. About 1,000 forest police were airlifted to the fire front in Heilongjiang, increasing the total number of firefighters to around 7,530. Twelve planes have been sent to help fight the fire Thursday.(Xinhua/Wang Jianwei)

YICHUN, Heilongjiang, May 1 (Xinhua) -- Firefighters have contained a fire that has been raging for nearly five days near a virgin forest in the northeastern Chinese province of Heilongjiang, the firefighting headquarters said Friday night.

More than 11,530 firemen have extinguished most of the flames by Friday evening after a cloud-seeding campaign in the afternoon. About 1,000 additional crews are rushing to the site in an effort to completely put out the fire. Four helicopters have arrived at the site to backup the campaign.

The fire started in Yinanhe Forest Farm on Monday afternoon and quickly spread northeast to Yichun City. It has killed one firefighter and injured four others.

The fire had affected more than 20,000 local residents and ravaged 20,000 hectares of wooded area by Thursday.

People living up to 35 km from the fire front were evacuated, although the exact number being forced to move is not known.

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