HARBIN -- China faces a tough test in preventing forest fires, with key wooded areas reporting a surge in blazes during the past month, a forestry official said Monday.
Sun Zhagen, deputy head of the State Forestry Administration, said from April 20 to May 20, Inner Mongolia, Jilin and Heilongjiang had 48 forest fires, 33 percent more than the same period last year.
High temperatures, scant rain and high winds were raising fire risks in the northeastern forests, Sun told a fire prevention meeting here in the capital of Heilongjiang Province.
He urged close monitoring and preventive measures against forest fires.
On Sunday, forest fires broke out in five parts of Heilongjiang. Nearly 7,000 people have been mobilized to fight those blazes.