Fri, February 13, 2009
China > Mainland

Forest still ablaze in E China's Fujian Province

2009-02-13 02:31:45 GMT2009-02-13 10:31:45 (Beijing Time)  Xinhua English

Photo taken on Feb. 12, 2009 shows the forest fire at Qingzhou Township of Shaxian County, southeast China's Fujian Province. A forest fire breaking out at about 12:30 p.m. local time on Thursday in Shaxian County, 270 km from Fujian's capital Fuzhou, was driven by wind toward villages along National Highway No. 205. The cause of the fire was under investigation. (Xinhua/Zhang Guojun)

Photo taken on Feb. 12, 2009 shows the forest fire at Qingzhou Township of Shaxian County, southeast China's Fujian Province. (Xinhua/Zhang Guojun)

FUZHOU, Feb. 13 (Xinhua) -- More than 2,000 people have been mobilized to fight a fire, which has been burning across 130 hectares of forest for 20 hours in east China's Fujian Province, a forestry official said Friday.

Police officers, firemen and villagers are trying to put out the flames in Shanxian County, about 270 km from the provincial capital Fuzhou, said Lu Yueliang, deputy forestry chief of the province.

Lu said the firefighters were withdrawn from the site at 10 p.m. for safety reasons. "They resumed working at 4 a.m. and expect to extinguish the flames Friday morning."

The fire, which broke out at about 12:30 p.m. Thursday, cut power supplies to the Sanming section of two railway lines and delayed 26 trains until 9 p.m. and temporarily blocked traffic on two highways.

No casualties have been reported.

Zheng Jinshui, a villager in Gaosha Township, said the fire caused panic among villagers, but did not cut off supplies. "Several villagers stayed away from home last night fearing their houses might be burned."

The local government evacuated 11 people who lived close to the site.

The cause of the fire is still under investigation. Meanwhile, the provincial fire prevention headquarters has banned the use of fire in the wild until March 13 in a circular that took effect Friday.

Thursday saw a chain of forest fires in China, including two in Bijie City of southwestern Guizhou Province that killed two people and injured two others, and one in Luzhou City, Sichuan Province.

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