CHINA / National

Forest fire under control after 9 days
By Xin Dingding (China Daily)
Updated: 2006-04-07 05:49

More than 1,000 firefighters battled all night, albeit in favourable weather conditions, to stamp out a forest fire that was approaching Kunming, capital of Southwest China's Yunnan Province.

By yesterday morning, they put out almost all the flames that raged for nine days.

"The fire has stopped spreading and the threat to nearby villages has been alleviated," said the State Forestry Administration.

The wind was weak at night, and low-hanging clouds created the right conditions for making artificial rain, said the administration in a news release.

Ten attempts at artificial rain produced steady drizzles at the fire spots; and firefighters were told to extinguish smouldering fires in the forest and put out any flames that reappeared.

The inferno destroyed hundreds of hectares of forest; and at least 800 residents of Tuanjie Town about 20 kilometres from downtown Kunming were evacuated.

Three villagers were injured and there was no fatality, an official with the provincial forestry administration said on Wednesday.

The fire broke out last Wednesday in Wenquan Town of Anning, about 28 kilometres from Kunming.

(China Daily 04/07/2006 page1)