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Yunnan battles forest fire spreading from Myanmar
Updated: 2009-02-23 10:50

KUNMING -- A forest fire in Myanmar that began last week had expanded to cover more than 200 hectares in neighboring southwest China's Yunnan Province as of Monday, a local government spokesman said.

No casualties had been reported by 9 a.m. Monday as more than 3,000 soldiers, armed police and villagers fought the fire in the border county of Tengchong.

The blaze is one of two fires that broke out in Myanmar between 4 p.m. and 5 p.m. last Wednesday. A fire to the west of Baima Mountains was controlled as of 9 a.m. Monday, but one to the west of a river crossed the border Sunday and was still spreading as of Monday.

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Firefighters dug a 10,000-meter ditch in Tengchong Sunday to keep the fire from spreading. But strong gales, dry weather and mountainous terrain make it difficult for the firefighters to extinguish the fires, according to a spokesman for Tengchong County.