CHINA> Regional
Alert issued for forest fires in SW China
Updated: 2009-02-20 00:23

BEIJING -- Southwestern China is on alert for potential forest fires for the next three days due to lack of rainfall in the regions, the China Forest Fire Management (CFFM) said Thursday.

Yunnan, Sichuan and Guizhou provinces along with the Tibet Autonomous Region are all at risk.

Average rainfall in Yunnan Province was only 20.1 millimeters since November. About 9.6 million mu (about 640,000 hectares) of farmland was affected by drought, according to figures from the provincial meteorological bureau.

As of February 15, a total of 67 forest fires were recorded in Yunnan by the provincial forestry administration.

A rainfall chart by the China Meteorological Administration shows no rain or trace amounts of rain were recorded in Yunnan, Sichuan, Tibet, and parts of Guizhou over the past 30 days.

The CFFM alert called on the local departments to pay greater attention to fire management and strictly prohibit use of fire in dry forests.