China on high alert for forest fires

Updated: 2012-04-05 22:36


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BEIJING - China faces a tough test in preventing forest fires, with key wooded areas reporting higher temperature and lower levels of rainfall this spring, a forestry official said Thursday.

The unnamed official said high temperatures, scant rain and strong winds were raising fire risks in the country's southwestern and northern forests, and spring ploughing made fire management more difficult in the south.

The State Forestry Administration (SFA) and its forest fire prevention office have urged close monitoring and preventive measures against forest fires.

Data from the SFA showed that in the first quarter, the nation reported 1,106 forest fires, down 64 percent from the same period last year. The fires killed eight people and injured six.

During the past three days, however, forest fires more than doubled compared to last year. This is due to the Tomb-sweeping Day rituals, where people burn incense and paper money in remembrance of the dead.

Tomb-sweeping Day fell on April 4 this year.