KUNMING, Feb. 21 (Xinhua) -- Forest safety authorities in southwest China's Yunnan province said Tuesday that the heavily forested province is facing serious fire prevention challenges due to lingering drought.
From Jan. 1 to Feb. 16, Yunnan saw 100 cases of forest fires. Of the total, six were serious or catastrophic forest fires, a spokesman with the Yunnan forest public security bureau said Tuesday.
Helicopters have been dispatched to patrol the province's major forested regions.
A severe drought has lingered in Yunnan for three consecutive years, disrupting the lives of 6.3 million people and posing greater difficulties for fire prevention in the region.
With more than 24.7 million hectares of forest, 47 percent of Yunnan is forest area, making it the country's second-most forested province.